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The Excommunication of the Cid 
Garci Perez de Vargas 

The Pounder 

The Murder of the Master 

The Death of Queen Beanche . 

The Death of Don Pedro 

The Proclamation of King Henry 

The Lord of Butrago . 

The King of Arragon . 

The Vow of Reduan 

The Feight from Granada . 

The Death of Don Aeonzo of Aguiear 

The Departure of King Sebastian . 





moorish baleads. 

The Buee-Fight of Gazue 195 

The Zegri's Bride 202 

The Bridae of Andaeea 205 

Zara's Ear-Rings 209 

The Lamentation for Ceein .... 212 

romantic baeeads. 

The Moor Caeaynos 219 

The Kscape of Gayferos 228 

Meeisendra 233 

Lady Aeda's Dream 237 

The Admirae Guarinos ..,,,. 241 



The IvAdy of the Trek 250 

The Avenging Chii^de 254 

Count Arnai^dos 259 

Song for the Morning of the Day of Saint 

John the Baptist 262 


The Song of the Gai^IvEy 270 

The Wandering Knight's Song .... 272 

Serenade 274 

The Captive Knight and the Blackbird . . 277 

Valladolid 281 

Dragut, the Corsair 284 

Count Alarcos and the Infanta Solisa . . 287 



Death of Don Ouadros .... Frontispiece 

Don Roderick after his Last B attire . . 31 

Don Roderick and the Hermit .... 35 

The Gathering 41 

The Oath 43 

' ' The Steei. that drank the Beood of France, ' ' 49 
''And die beneath my Banner before I SEE 

IT so" 61 


mudara meeting rodrigo ..... 80 

Knight on Horseback 85 

The Cid's Departure from Burgos ... 89 
Bridai, Procession of the Cid .... 103 
FuNERAi, Procession OF THE CiD . . . .110 

Bavieca 112 

The Cid AND Bavieca 115 

Crosier AND Sword 116 

The Cid crossing the Sea. The Seven Chairs 118 
The Cid upsetting the Papae Chair . . .119 
The Cid's Submission to the Pope . . .119 

Cross and Keys 120 

Garci Perez vanquishes the Seven Moors . 125 


Xi6t ot HUustrations 


Moorish Arms, etc. . . . . . .131 

Bi,ocK AND Executioner's Knife . . . .143 

struggi.e between don pedro and don henry 1 53 
''With furious Grief she twists her Hands 

AMONG HER ivONG BLACK Hairs " . . .163 

Sabre AND Shieed 172 

The Moorish Court with Assemblage of War- 
riors 174 

Departure of the Cavalcade . . . -175 

The Retreat FROM Jaen 176 

The Moorish Ambuscade 187 

Galleys quitting the Mouth of the Tagus . 192 

Bull-Fight at Granada 197 

Dying Bule 201 

"Rise vP, rise up, Xarifa ! " 207 

Zara at the Well 209 

Interior of a Moorish Palace . . . .213 

Tournament 227 

Melisendra's Descent from the Battlements 234 

The Tower of Sansuena 235 

The Dream 237 

roncesvalles 240 

Combat between Christian and Moor . . 249 
Knight resting from the Chase . . • 250 
The Cavalcade in the Forest . . . .253 
"The One IS up, the Other down; The Hun- 
ter's Knife is bare" 257 

Galley at Sunrise 259 

%\6t Of 1[llu6tration0 


' ' whii.e she was gathering roses upon her 

Father's Ground " 269 

''I ride from Land to Land, I saie from vSea 

TO Sea" 273 

"Waft eightivY through the Trees Echoes 

OF MY Numbers " 275 

The Knight meeting the Paemer . . .281 

Spanish Captive 284 

Sinking the CoRvSair's Gaeeey .... 285 

The Infanta Soeisa 288 

The King and the Infanta 289 

The King and Count Aearcos . . . .291 

Departure of the Count 293 

Count Aearcos arriving at his Home . . 294 

Aearcos and the Countess 296 

The Countess Praying 297 

Death of the Countess 299 



THE intention of this Publication is to furnish the 
English reader with some notion of that old Span- 
ish minstrelsy, which has been preserved in the different 
Cancioiteros and Romanceros of the sixteenth century. 
That great mass of popular poetry has never yet received 
in its own country the attention to w^hich it is entitled. 
While hundreds of volumes have been written about 
authors who w^ere, at the best, ingenious imitators of 
classic or Italian models, not one, of the least critical 
merit, has been bestowed upon those old and simpler 
poets who were contented with the native inspirations 
of Castilian pride. No Spanish Percy, or KHis, or Ritson 
has arisen to perform what no one but a Spaniard can 
entertain the smallest hope of achieving. 

Mr. Bouterwek, in his excellent "History of Spanish 


Literature " (Book i., Sect, i), complained that no attempt 
had ever been made even to arrange the old Spanish bal- 
lads in any thing like chronological order. An ingenious 
countryman of his own, Mr. Depping, has since, in some 
measure, supplied this defect. He has arranged the his- 
torical ballads according to the chronology of the persons 
and events which they celebrate ; for even this obvious 
matter had not been attended to by the original Spanish 
collectors ; but he has modestly and judiciously re- 
frained from attempting the chronological arrangement 
of them as compositions ; i^oMva^^ of course, that no per- 
son can ever acquire such a delicate knowledge of a 
language not his own, as might enable him to distin- 
guish, with accuracy, between the different shades of 
antiquity, — or even perhaps to draw, with certainty and 
precision, the broader line between that which is genuine 
antiquity, and that which is mere modern imitation. By 
far the greater part of the following translations are from 
pieces which the reader will find in Mr. Depping's col- 
lection, published at Leipsig in 1817. 

It seems, therefore, in the present state of things, im- 
possible to determine to what period the composition of 
the oldest Spanish ballads now extant ought to be re- 
ferred. The first Cancionero, that of Ferdinand de 


Castillo, was published so early as 15 lo. In it, a con- 
siderable number, both of the historical and of the 
romantic class of ballads, are included : and, as the title 
of the book itself bears ''Obras de todos o de los mas 
principales Trobadores de Espaiia, assi antigtios couio 
Tfiodernos,^^ it is clear that at least a certain number of 
these pieces were considered as entitled to the appella- 
tion of " ancient," in the year 15 10. 

The " Cancionero de Romances," published at Antwerp 
in 1555, and afterwards often reprinted under the name of 
"Romancero," was the earliest collection that admitted 
nothing but ballads. The '^ Romancero Historiado " of 
Ivucas Rodriguez, appeared at Alcala, in 1579 ; the col- 
lection of lyorenzo de Sepulveda, at Antwerp, in 1566. 
The ballads of the Cid Avere first published in a col- 
lected form in 1615, by Escobar. 

But there are not wanting circumstances which would 
seem to establish, for many of the Spanish ballads, a 
claim to antiquity much higher than is to be inferred 
from any of these dates. In the oldest edition of the 
''Cancionero General," for example, there are several 
pieces w^hich bear the name of Don Juan Manuel. If 
they were composed by the celebrated author of " Count 
Lucanor" (audit appears very unlikely that any person 


of less distinguished rank should have assumed that 
style without some addition or distinction), we must 
carry them back at least as far as the year 1362, when the 
Prince Don Juan Manuel died. But this is not all. The 
ballads bearing the name of that illustrious author are so 
far from appearing to be among the most ancient in the 
Cancionero^ that even a very slight examination must be 
sufficient to establish exactly the reverse. The regularity 
and completeness of their rhymes alone are, in fact, 
quite enough to satisfy any one w^ho is acquainted with 
the usual style of Xh.e redo7idillaSy that the ballads of 
Don Juan Manuel are among the most modern in the 
whole collection.* 

But, indeed, whatever may be the age of the ballads 
now extant, that the Spaniards had ballads of the same 
general character, and on the same subjects, at a very 
early period of their national history, is quite certain. 
In the "General Chronicle of Spain," which was compiled 

* A single stanza of one of them will be enough : 

" Gritando va el caballero piiblicando su gran mal, 
Vestidas ropas de Into, alforradas en sayal ; 
Por las montes sin camino con dolor y suspirar, 
I^lorando a pie desal^o, jurando de no tornar." 

Compare this with such a ballad as— 

" No te espantes, caballero, ni tengas tamana grima ; 
Hija soy del buen Rey y de la Reyna de Castilla." 


in the thirteenth century, at the command of Alphonso 
the Wise, allusions are perpetually made to the popular 
songs of the Minstrels, or Joglares. Now, it is evident 
that the phraseology of compositions handed down orally 
from one generation to another, must have undergone, 
in the course of time, a great many alterations ; yet, in 
point of fact, the language of by far the greater part of 
the historical ballads in the Romancero^ does appear to 
carry the stamp of an antiquity quite as remote as that 
used by the compilers of the General Chronicle them- 
selves. Nay, some of those very expressions from which 
Mr. Southey would seem to infer that the '' Chronicle 
of the Cid " is a more ancient composition than the 
"General Chronicle of Spain" (which last was written 
before 1384), are quite of common occurrence in these 
same ballads, which Mr. Southey considers as of com- 
paratively modern origin. ^^ 

All this, however, is a controversy in which few Kng- 
lish readers can be expected to take much interest. And, 
besides, even granting that the Spanish ballads were 
composed but a short time before the first Cancioneros 
were published, it would still be certain that they form 

* See the Introduction to Mr. Southey's " Chronicle of the Cid," 
p. V. — (Note). ^ 


by far the oldest, as well as largest, collection of popular 
poetry, properly so called, that is to be found in the lit- 
erature of any European nation whatever. Had there 
been published at London, in the reign of our Henry 
VIII., a vast collection of English ballads about the 
wars of the Plantagenets, what illustration and annota- 
tion would not that collection have received long ere 
now ! 

How the old Spaniards should have come to be so 
much more wealthy in this sort of possession than any 
of their neighbors it is not very easy to say. They had 
their taste for warlike song in common with all the other 
members of the great Gothic family ; and they had a 
fine climate, affording, of course, more leisure for amuse- 
ment than could have been enjoyed beneath the rougher 
sky of the north. The flexibility of their beautiful lan- 
guage, and the extreme simplicity of the versification 
adopted in their ballads, must, no doubt, have lightened 
the labor, and may have consequently increased the 
number of their professional minstrels. 

To tell some well-known story of love or heroism, in 
stanzas of four octosyllabic lines, the second and the 
fourth terminating in the same rh^nne, or in what the 
musical accompaniment could make to have soDie ap- 


pearance of being the same, — this was all that the art of 
the Spanish Coplero, in its most perfect state, ever as- 
pired to. But a line of seven or of six syllables was ad- 
mitted whenever that suited the maker better than one 
of eight : the stanza itself varied from four to six lines, 
with equal ease ; and, as for the matter of rhyme, it was 
quite sufficient that the two corresponding syllables con- 
tained the same vowel. "^ In a language less abundant in 
harmonious vocables, such laxity could scarcely have 
satisfied the ear. But, the Spanish is, like the sister 
Italian, music in itself, though music of a bolder charac- 

I have spoken of the structure of the redo7idillas, as 
Spanish writers generally speak of it, when I have said 
that the stanzas consist of four lines. But a distin- 
guished German antiquary, Mr. Grimm, who published, 
a few years ago, a little sylva of Spanish ballads, ex- 

* For example : 

" Y arrastrando luengos lutos 

Entraron \.r^yr^\.2i fidalgos 

Escuderos de Ximena 

Hija del conde LoQano.^' 

** A Don Alvaro de I^una 

Condestable de Castilla 

El rey Don Juan el Segnndo 

Con mal seniblante lo 7niraV 

But, indeed, even this might be dispensed with. 


presses his opinion that the stanza was composed in real- 
ity of two long lines, and that these had subsequently 
been cut into four, exactly as we know to have been the 
case in regard to our own old English ballad-stanza. Mr. 
Grimm, in his small but very elegant collection, prints 
the Spanish verses in what he thus supposes to have 
been their original shape "' ; and I have followed his ex- 
ample in the form of the stanza which I have for the 
most part used in my translations, as well as in quoting 
occasionally from the originals. 

So far as I have been able, I have followed Mr. Dep- 
ping in the classification of the specimens which follow. 

The reader will find placed together at the beginning 
those ballads w^hich treat of persons and events known 
in the authentic history of Spain. A few concerning the 
unfortunate Don Roderick, and the Moorish conquest of 
the eighth century, form the commencement ; and the 
series is carried down, though of course with wide gaps 
and intervals, yet so as to furnish something like a con- 
nected sketch of the gradual progress of the Christian 
arms, until the surrender of Granada, in the year 1492, 
and the subsequent flight of the last Moorish sovereign 
from the Peninsula. 

* " Sylva de Viejos Romances, publicada por Jacobo Grimm, 
Vienna, 1815." 


Throughout that very extensive body of historical bal- 
lads from which these specimens have been selected, 
there prevails an uniformly high tone of sentiment, — 
such as might have been expected to distinguish the pop- 
ular poetry of a nation proud, haughty, free, and en- 
gaged in continual warfare against enemies of different 
faith and manners, but not less proud and not less war- 
like than themselves. Those petty disputes and dissen- 
sions which so long divided the Christian princes, and, 
consequently, favored and maintained the power of the 
formidable enemy w^hom they all equally hated ; those 
struggles between prince and nobility which were pro- 
ductive of similar effects after the crowns of Leon and Cas- 
tile had been united ; those domestic tragedies which so 
often stained the character and w^eakened the arms of the 
Spanish kings ; — in a word, all the principal features of 
the old Spanish history, may be found, more or less dis- 
tinctly shadowed forth, among the productions of these 
unflattering minstrels. 

Of the language of Spain, as it existed under the reign 
of the Visigoth kings, we possess no monuments. The 
law^s and the chronicles of the period were equally written 
in Latin ; and although both, in all probability, must have 
been frequently rendered into more vulgar dialects, no 


traces of any such versions have survived the many 
storms and struggles of religious and political dissension, 
of which this interesting region has since been made the 
scene. To what precise extent, therefore, the language 
and literature of the Peninsula felt the influence of that 
great revolution which subjected the far larger part of her 
territory to the sway of a Mussulman sceptre, and how 
much or how little of what we at this hour admire or con- 
demn in the poetry of Portugal, Arragon, Castile, is real- 
ly not of Spanish, but of Moorish origin, — these are mat- 
ters which have divided all the great writers of literary 
history, and which we, in truth, have little chance of ever 
seeing accurately decided. Xo one, however, who con- 
siders of what elements the Christian population of Spain 
was originally composed, and in what shapes the mind of 
nations, every way kindred to that population, was ex- 
pressed during the middle ages, can have any doubt that 
great and remarkable influence cvas exerted over Spanish 
thought and feeling — and therefore over Spanish lan- 
guage and poetry — by the influx of those Oriental tribes 
that occupied for seven long centuries the fairest prov- 
inces of the Peninsula. 

vSpain, although of all the countries which owned the 
authority of the Caliphs she was the most remote from 


the seat of their empire, appears to have been the very 
first in point of cultivation ; — her governors having, for 
at least two centuries, emulated one another in affording 
every species of encouragement and protection to all those 
liberal arts and sciences which first flourished at Bagdad 
under the sway of Haroun Al-Raschid, and his less cele- 
brated, but, perhaps, still more enlightened son, Al- 
Mamoun. Beneath the wise and munificent patronage 
of these rulers, the cities of Spain, within three hundred 
years after the defeat of King Roderick, had been every- 
where penetrated with a spirit of elegance, tastefulness, 
and philosophy, which afforded the strongest of all pos- 
sible contrasts to the contemporary condition of the other 
kingdoms of Europe. At Cordova, Granada, Seville, and 
many now less considerable towns, colleges and libraries 
had been founded and endowed in the most splendid 
manner, — where the most exact and most elegant of 
sciences were cultivated together with equal zeal. Aver- 
roes translated and expounded Aristotle at Cordova ; 
Ben-Zaid and Aboul-Mander wrote histories of their 
nation at Valencia ; Abdel-Maluk set the first example of 
that most interesting and useful species of writing, by 
which Moreri and others have since rendered services 
so important to ourselves ; and even an Arabian encyclo- 


paedia was compiled, under the direction of Mohammed- 
Aba- Abdallah, at Granada. Ibn-el-Beither went forth 
from Malaga to search through all the mountains and 
plains of Europe for every thing that might enable him 
to perfect his favorite sciences of botany and lithology, 
and his works still remain to excite the admiration of all 
who are in a condition to apprehend their value. The 
Jew of Tudela was the w^orthy successor of Gallen and 
Hippocrates, while chemistry and other branches of 
medical science, almost unknow^n to the ancients, re- 
ceived their first astonishing developments from Al-Rasi 
and Avicenna. Rhetoric and poetry w^ere not less dili- 
gently studied ; and, in a word, it would be difficult to 
point out, in the whole history of the world, a time or 
a country where the activity of the human intellect was 
more extensively or usefully, or gracefully exerted, than 
in Spain, while the Mussulman sceptre yet retained any 
portion of that vigor which it had originally received 
from the conduct and heroism of Tarifa. 

Although the difference of religion prevented the 
Moors and their Spanish subjects from ever being com- 
pletely melted into one people, yet it appears that nothing 
could, on the whole, be more mild than the conduct of the 
Moorish government towards the Christian population of 

ITnttoDuctton 13 

the country, during this their splendid period of undis- 
turbed dominion. Their learning and their arts they 
liberally communicated to all who desired such participa- 
tion ; and the Christian youth studied freely and honor- 
ably at the feet of Jewish physicians and Mahommedan 
philosophers. Communication of studies and acquire- 
ments, continued through such a space of years, could 
not have failed to break down, on both sides, many of 
the barriers of religious prejudice, and to nourish a spirit 
of kindliness and charity among the more cultivated por- 
tions of either people. The intellect of the Christian 
Spaniards could not be ungrateful for the rich gifts it was 
every day receiving from their misbelieving masters ; 
while the benevolence with which instructors ever regard 
willing disciples must have tempered in the minds of the 
Arabs the sentiments of haughty superiority natural to 
the breasts of conquerors. 

By degrees, however, the scattered remnants of unsub- 
dued Visigoths, who had sought and found refuge among 
the mountains of Asturias and Gallicia, began to gather 
the strength of numbers and of combination, and the 
Mussulmans saw different portions of their empire succes- 
sively wrested from their hands by leaders whose des- 
cendants assumed the titles of Kings in Oviedo and 

14 . ITntroDuction 

Nevarre, and of Counts in Castile, Soprarbia, Arragon, 
and Barcelona. From the time when these principalities 
were established till all their strength was united in the 
persons of Ferdinand and Isabella, a perpetual war may 
be said to have subsisted between the professors of the 
two religions ; and the natural jealousy of Moorish gov- 
ernors must have gradually, but effectually, diminished 
the comfort of the Christians who yet lived under their 
authority. Were we to seek our ideas of the period only 
from the events recorded in its chronicles, we should be 
led to believe that nothing could be more deep and fervid 
than the spirit of mutual hostility which prevailed among 
all the adherents of the opposite faiths ; but external 
events are sometimes not the surest guides to the spirit 
whether of peoples or of ages, and the ancient popular 
poetr)' of Spain may be referred to for proofs, which can- 
not be considered as either of dubious or of trivial value, 
that the rage of hostility had not sunk quite so far as 
might nave been imagined into the minds and hearts of 
very many that were engaged in the conflict. 

There is, indeed, nothing more natural, at first sight, 
than to reason in some measure from a nation as it is in 
our own day, back to what it was a few centuries ago ; 
but nothing could tend to the production of greater mis- 


takes than such a mode of judging applied to the case of 
Spain. In the erect and high-spirited peasantry of that 
country, we still see the genuine and uncorrupted descen- 
dants of their manly forefathers ; but in every other part 
of the population, the progress of corruption appears to 
have been not less powerful than rapid ; and the higher 
we ascend in the scale of society, the more distinct and 
mortifying is the spectacle of moral not less than of physi- 
cal deterioration. This universal falling off of men may 
be traced very easily to an universal falling off in regard 
to every point of faith and feeling most essential to the 
formation and preservation of a national character. We 
have been accustomed to consider the modern Spaniard 
as the most bigoted and enslaved and ignorant of Euro- 
peans ; but we must not forget that the Spaniards of three 
centuries back were, in all respects, a very different set 
of beings. Castile, in the first regulation of her constitu- 
tion, was as free as any nation needs to be for all the pur- 
poses of social security and individual happiness. Her 
kings were her captains and her judges, the chiefs and 
models of a gallant nobility, and the protectors of a 
manly and independent peasantry- : but the authority 
with which they were invested was guarded by the most 
accurate limitations ; nay, in case they should exceed 

i6 IfntroDuctlon 

the boundary of their legal power, the statute-book of 
the realm itself contained exact rules for the conduct of a 
constitutional insurrection to recall them to their duty, or 
to punish them for its desertion. Every order of society 
had, more or less directly, its representatives in the 
national council ; every Spaniard, of whatever degree, 
was penetrated with a sense of his own dignity as a free- 
man — his own nobility as a descendant of the Visigoths. 
And it is well remarked by an elegant historian of our 
day,^ that, even to this hour, the influence of this happy 
order of things still continues to be felt in Spain, — w^here 
manners and language and literature have all received 
indelibly a stamp of courts and aristocracy and proud 
feeling, — which affords a striking contrast to what may 
be observed in modern Italy, where the only freedom 
that ever existed had its origin and residence among 
citizens and merchants. 

The civil liberty of the old Spaniards could scarcely 
have existed so long as it did in the presence of any feel- 
ing so black and noisome as the bigotry of modern Spain ; 
but this was never tried, for, down to the time of Charles 
v., no man has any right to say that the Spaniards were 
a bigoted people. One of the worst features of their 

*Sismoridi's " Literature du Midi." 

ITntro^uction 17 

modern bigotry — their extreme and servile subjection to 
the authority of the Pope — is entirely a-wanting in the 
picture of their ancient spirit. In the twelfth century, 
the kings of Arragon were the protectors of the Albi- 
genses, and their Pedro II. himself died, in 1213, fighting 
bravely against the red cross, for the cause of tolerance. 
In 1268 two brothers of the King of Castile left the ban- 
ners of the Infidels^ beneath which they were serving at 
Tunis, with eight hundred Castilian gentlemen, for the 
purpose of coming to Italy and assisting the Neapolitans 
in their resistance to the tyranny of the Pope and Charles 
of Anjou. In the great schism of the West, as it is 
called (1378), Pedro IV. embraced the party which the 
Catholic Church regards as schismatic. That feud was 
not allayed for more than a hundred years, and Alphonso 
V. was well paid for consenting to lay it aside ; while, 
down to the time of Charles V., the whole of the Neapoli- 
tan Princes of the House of Arragon may be said to have 
lived in a state of open enmity against the Papal See ; — 
sometimes excommunicated for generations together — 
seldom apparently, never cordially reconciled. When, 
finally, Ferdinand the Catholic made his first attempt to 
introduce the Inquisition into his kingdom almost the 
whole nation took up arms to resist him. The Grand 

i8 IFntro^uction 

Inquisitor was killed, and every one of his creatures was 
compelled to leave for a season the yet free soil of 

But the strongest and best proof of the comparative 
liberality of the old Spaniards is, as I have already said, 
to be found in their ballads. Throughout the far greater 
part of those compositions there breathes a certain spirit 
of charity and humanity towards those Moorish enemies 
W'ith whom the combats of the national heroes are repre- 
sented. The Spaniards and the Moors lived together in 
their villages beneath the calmest of skies, and surrounded 
with the most beautiful of landscapes. In spite of their 
adverse faiths, in spite of their adverse interests, they 
had much in common. Loves and sports and recreations 
— nay, sometimes their haughtiest recollections, w^ere in 
common, and even their heroes were the same. Bernardo 
del Carpio, Fernan Gonzalez, the Cid himself, — almost 
every one of the favorite heroes of the Spanish nation, 
had, at some period or other of his life, fought beneath 
the standard of the Crescent, and the minstrels of either 
nation might, therefore, in regard to some instances, at 
least, have equal pride in the celebration of their prowess. 
The praises w^hich the Arab poets granted to them in their 
Moiiwachchah^ or girdle verses, w^ere repaid by liberal 

Untrobuction 19 

encomiums ou Moorish valor and generosity in Castilian 
and Arragonese redondillas. Even in the ballads most 
exclusively devoted to the celebration of feats of Spanish 
heroism, it is quite common to find some redeeming 
compliment to the Moors mixed with the strain of exul- 
tation. Xay, even in the more remote and ideal chivalries 
celebrated in the Castilian ballads, the parts of glory and 
greatness are almost as frequently attributed to Moors as 
to Christians ; — Calaynos was a name as familiar as Gay- 
feros. At a somewhat later period, when the conquest of 
Granada had mingled the Spaniards still more effectually 
with the persons and manners of the Moors, we find the 
Spanish poets still fonder of celebrating the heroic 
achievements of their old Saracen rivals ; and, without 
doubt, this their liberality towards the "Knights of 
Granada, Gentlemen, albeit Moors," 

" Caballeros Granadinos 
Aunque Moros hijos d'algo," 

must have been very gratifying to the former subjects of 
''The Baby King." It must have counteracted the big- 
otry of Confessors and Mollahs, and tended to inspire 
both nations with sentiments of kindness and mutual 


Bernardo del Carpio, above all the rest, was the common 
property and pride of both peoples. Of his all-romantic 
life, the most romantic incidents belonged equally to 
both. It was with Moors that he allied himself w^hen he 
rose up to demand vengeance from King Alphonso for 
the murder of his father. It was with Moorish brethren 
in arms that he marched to fight against the Prankish 
army for the independence of the Spanish soil. It was 
in front of a half-Leonese, half Moorish host, that Bernardo 
couched his lance, victorious alike over valor and magic : 

' When Rowland brave and Olivier, 
And every Paladin and Peer 
On Roncesvalles died." 

A few ballads, unquestionably of Moorish origin, and 
apparently rather of the romantic than the historical 
class, are given in a section by themselves. The originals 
are valuable, as monuments of the manners and customs 
of a most singular race. 

Composed originally by a Moor or a Spaniard (it is 
often very difficult to determine by which of the two), 
they were sung in the villages of Andalusia in either lan- 
guage, but to the same tunes, and listened to with equal 
pleasure by man, woman, and child, — Mussulman and 

•ffntro^uction 21 

Christian. In these strains, whatever other merits or de- 
merits they may possess, we are, at least, presented with 
a lively picture of the life of the Arabian Spaniard. We 
see him as he was in reality, " like steel among weapons — 
like wax among women," — 

" Fuerte qual azero entre armas, 
Y qual cera entre las damas." 

There came, indeed, a time when the fondness of the 
Spaniards for their Moorish ballads was made matter of 
reproach, — but this was not till long after the period 
when Spanish bravery had won back the last fragments 
of the Peninsula from Moorish hands. It was thus that 
a Spanish poet of the after day expressed himself : 

" Vayase con Dios Gazul ! 
Ivleve el diablo a Celindaxa ! 

Y buelvan estas marlotas 

A quien se las dio prestadas ! 

" Que quiere Dona Maria 
Ner Baylar a Dona Juana, 
Una Galarda espaiiola, 
Que no ay danga mas gallarda : 

" Y Don Pedro y Don Rodrigo 

Vestir otrasmas galanas, 

Ver quien son estos danzantes 

Y conocer estas damas ; 


" Y ei Senor Alcayde quiere 
Saber quien es Abenatnar, 
Kstos Zegris y Aliatares, 
Adulces, Zaydes, y Andallas ; 

" Y de que repartimiento 
Son Celinda y Guadalara, 
Kstos Moros y Estas INIoras 
Que en tocias las bodas danzan ; 

" Y por hablarlo mas claro, 
Assi tenguan buena pascua, 
Ha venido a su noticia 
Que ay Christianos en Espana." 

These sarcasms were not without their answer; for, 
says another poem in the " Romancero General " : 

"Si es Kspanol Don Rodrigo, 
Espanol fue el fuerte Andalla ; 
Y sepa el Senor Alca^'de 
Que tambien lo es Guadalara." 

But the best argument follows : 

"No es culpa si de los Moros 
lyos valientes hechos cantan, 
Pues tanto mas resplendecen 
Nuestras celebras hazanas." 

The greater part of the Moorish ballads refer to the 
period immediately preceding the downfall of the throne 
of Granada — the amours of that splendid court — the bull- 

flntroDuction 23 

feasts and other spectacles in which its lords and ladies 
delighted no less than than those of the Christian courts 
of Spain — the bloody feuds of the two great families of 
the Zegris and the Abencerrages, which contributed so 
largely to the ruin of the Moorish cause — and the inci- 
dents of the last war itself, in which the power of the 
Mussulman was entirely overthrown by the arms of Fer- 
dinand and Isabella. To some readers it may, perhaps, 
occur, that the part ascribed to Moorish females in these 
ballads is not always exactly in the Oriental taste ; but 
the pictures still extant on the walls of the Alhambra 
contain abundant proofs how unfair it would be to judge 
from the manners of any Mussulman nation of our day, 
of those of the refined and elegant Spanish Moors. 

The specimens of which the third and largest section 
consists, are taken from amongst the vast multitude of 
miscellaneous and romantic ballads in the old Cancion- 
eros. The subjects of a number of these are derived 
from the fabulous "Chronicle of Turpin " ; and the 
Knights of Charlemagne's Round-Table appear in all 
their gigantic lineaments. But the greater part are 
formed precisely of the same sort of materials which 
supplied our own ancient ballad-makers, both the Eng- 
lish and the Scottish. 



In the original Spanish collections, songs^ both of the 
serious and of the more comic kind, are mingled without 
scruple among their romantic ballads ; and one or two 
specimens of these also have been attempted towards the 
conclusion of the following pages. 




THK treason of Count Julian, and, indeed the whole 
history of King Roderick, and the downfall of the 
Gothic monarchy in Spain, have been so effectually made 
known to the English reader by Mr. South ey and Sir Wal- 
ter Scott, that it would be impertinent to say any thing 
of these matters here. The ballad a version of which fol- 
lows, appears to be one of the oldest among the great 
number relating to the Moorish conquest in Spain. One 
verse of it is quoted, and several parodied, in the Second 
Part of Don Quixote, in the inimitable chapter of the 
Puppet-show : 

''The general rout of the puppets being over, Don 
Quixote's fury began to abate ; and, with a more pacified 
countenance, turning to the company, — ' Well, now,' said 
he, * when all is done, long live knight-errantry ; but let it 
live, I say, above all things whatsoever in this world ! ' 
* Ay, ay,' said Master Peter, in a doleful tone, ^ let it live 
long for me, so I may die ; for why should I live so un- 


28 Zbc Xamentation ot 2)on IRoDerick 

happy as to say with King Rodrigo, Yesterday I was lord 
of Spain ^ to-day have not afoot of land I can call mine ? 
It is not half an hour, nay, scarce a moment, since I had 
kings and emperors at command. I had horses in abun- 
dance, and chests and bags full of fine things ; but now 
you see me a poor, sorry, undone man, quite and clean 
broke and cast down, and, in short, a mere beggar. What 
is w^orst of all, I have lost my ape too, who, I am sure, 
will make me sweat ere I catch him again.' " 

" But still where through the press of war he went, 
Half-armed, and like a lover seeking death. 
The arrows passed him b}- ; and right and left, 
The spear-point pierced him not ; the scymitar 
Glanced from his helmet : he, when he beheld 
The rout complete, saw that the shield of heaven 
Had been extended over him once more, 
And bowed before its will. Upon the banks 
Of vSella, was Orelio found, his legs 
And flanks incarnadined, his poitrel smeared 
With froth and foam and gore, his silver mane 
Sprinkled with blood, which hung on every hair 
Aspersed like dewdrops : trembling there he stood 
From the toil of battle, and at times sent forth 
His tremulous cry, far echoing loud and shrill, 
A frequent, anxious cry, with which he seemed 
To call the master he had loved so well." 




"^HE hosts of Don Rodrigo were scattered in dismay, 
When lost was the eighth battle, nor heart nor 
hope had they ; 
He, when he saw that field was lost, and all his hope was 

He turned him from his flying host, and took his way 

His horse was bleeding, blind, and lame, — he could no 

farther go ; 
Dismounted, without path or aim, the king stepped to 

and fro ; 
It was a sight of pity to look on Roderick, 
For, sore athirst and hungry, he staggered, faint and sick. 

All stained and strewed with dust and blood, like to some 

smouldering brand 
Plucked from the flame, Rodrigo showed : — his sword 

was in his hand, 


30 Zbc Xamentatton ot IDon IRo^ertck 

But it was hacked into a saw of dark and purple tint ; 
His jewelled mail had many a flaw, his helmet many a 

He climbed unto a hill-top, the highest he could see, 
Thence all about of that wide rout his last long look 

took he ; 
He saw his royal banners, where they lay drenched and 

He heard the cry of victory, the Arab's shout of scorn. 

He looked for the brave captains that led the hosts of 

But all were fled except the dead, and who could count 

the slain ? 
Where'er his eye could wander, all bloody was the plain, 
And, while thus he said, the tears he shed ran down his 

cheeks like rain : — 

" Last night I was the King of Spain, — to-day no king 

am I ; 
Last night fair castles held my train, — to-night where 

shall I lie ? 
Last night a hundred pages did serve me on the knee, — 
To-night not one I call mine own — not one pertains to 


Zbc Xamentation ot lS)on IRoDertck 


" Oh, luckless, luckless was the hour, and cursed was the 

When I was born to have the power of this great signiory ! 
Unhappy me that I should see the sun go down to-night ! 
O Death, why now so slow art thou, w^hy fearest thou to 

smite ? ' ' 

THIS ballad is also quoted in '' Don Quixote." "And 
let me tell you again (quoth Sancho Pauza to the 
Duchess), if you don't think fit to give me an island be- 
cause I am a fool, I will be so wise as not to care whether 
you do or no. It is an old saying, The Devil lurks be- 
hind the cross. All is not gold that glisters. From the 
tail of the plough Bamba was made King of Spain ; and 
from his silks and riches was Rodrigo cast to be devoured 
by the snakes, if the old ballads say true, and sure they 
are too old to tell a lie. That they are indeed (said Dona 
Rodriguez, the old waiting-woman, who listened among 
the rest), for I remember, one of the ballads tells us how 
Don Rodrigo was shut up alive in a tomb full of toads, 
snakes, and lizards ; and how, after two days he was 
heard to cry out of the tomb in a loud and doleful voice ; 


Zbc ipenitcnce ot ^on IRoDerick 33 

A'^ow they eat ;;/^, now they gnaw me^ in the part zvhere 
I sinned most. And according to this the gentleman is 
in the right in saying he had rather be a poor laborer 
than a king, to be gnawed to death by vermin." 

Cervantes would scarcely have made this absurd story 
the subject of conversation between any more intelligent 
personages than Sancho Panza and the venerable Dona 
Rodriguez. Nevertheless, there is something ver^^ pecu- 
liar in the old ballad to which these interlocutors allude, — 
enough, perhaps, to make it worth the trouble of trans- 
lation. There is a little difference between the text of 
the Cancio7iero and the copy which Doiia Rodriguez 
quotes ; but I think the effect is better when there is only 
one snake than when the tomb is full of them. 

Several chapters of the "Ancient Chronicle of Spain," 
translated in the appendix to Mr. Sou they 's " Roderick," 
relate to the adventures of the King "after he left the 
battle and arrived at a hermitage. ' ' 


IT was when the King Rodrigo had lost his realm of 
In doleful plight he held his flight o'er Guadalete's plain ; 
Afar from the fierce Moslem he fain would hide his woe, 
And up among the wilderness of mountains he would go. 

There lay a shepherd by the rill, with all his flock beside 

him ; 
He asked him where upon his hill a weary man might 

hide him. 
"Not far," quoth he ; " within the wood dwells our old 

Eremite ; 
He in his holy solitude will hide ye all the night." 

"Good friend," quoth he, "I hunger." ''Alas!" the 

shepherd said, 
" My scrip no more containeth but one little loaf of 

The weary King was thankful, the poor man's loaf he 

took ; 
He by him sate, and, w^hile he ate, his tears fell in the 



36 tCbe ipenftence of lS>on 1Rot)ericFi 

From underneath his garment the King unlocked his 

A golden chain with many a link, and the royal ring of 

Spain ; 
He gave them to the wondering man, and, with heavy 

steps and slow. 
He up the wild his way began, to the hermitage to go. 

The sun had just descended into the western sea. 

And the holy man was sitting in the breeze beneath his 

tree ; 
" I come, I come, good father, to beg a boon from thee : 
This night within thy hermitage give shelter unto me." 

The old man looked upon the King, — he scanned him 

o'er and o'er, — 
He looked with looks of wondering, — he marvelled more 

and more. 
With blood and dust distained was the garment that he 

And yet in utmost misery a kingly look he bore. 

"Who art thou, weary stranger? This path why hast 

thou ta'en?"— 
' ' I am Rodrigo ; — yesterday men called me King of Spain ; 
I come to make my penitence within this lonel}- place — 
Good father take thou no offence — for God and Mar^^'s 


ttbe ipenltence of 'Bon Klobcvick 37 

The Hermit looked with fearful eye upon Roclrigo's face, 
"Son, mercy dwells with the Most High, — not hopeless 

is thy case ; 
Thus far thou well hast chosen ; I to the Lord will pray ; 
He will reveal what penance may wash thy sin away." 

Now, God us shield ! it was revealed that he his bed must 

Within a tomb, and share its gloom with a black and 

living snake. 
Rodrigo bowed his humble head, w^hen God's command 

he heard. 
And with the snake prepared his bed, according to the 


The holy Hermit waited till the third day was gone. 

Then knocked he with his finger upon the cold tombstone ; 

'' Good King, good King," the Hermit said, ^' an answer 
give to me. 

How fares it with thy darksome bed and dismal com- 
pany ? " 

" Good father," said Rodrigo, " the snake hath touched 

me not ; 
Pray for me, holy Hermit — I need thy prayers, God wot ; 
Because the Lord his anger keeps, I lie unharmed here ; 
The sting of earthly vengeance sleeps, — a worser pain I 

fear. ' ' 

38 ^be B^cnftence of 2)on IRoDericFi 

The Eremite his breast did smite when thus he heard him 

say ; 
He turned him to his cell, — that night he loud and long 

did pray : 
At morning hour he came again, — then doleful moans 

heard he ; 
From out the tomb the cry did come of gnawing misery. 

He spake, and heard Rodrigo's voice : " O Father Eremite, 
He eats me now, he eats me now, I feel the adder's bite ; 
The part that was most sinning my bedfellow doth rend ; 
There had my curse beginning, God grant it there may 

The holy man made answer in w^ords of hopeful strain ; 
He bade him trust the body's pang would save the spirit's 

Thus died the good Rodrigo, thus died the King of Spain, 
Washed from offence, his spirit hence to God its flight 

hath ta' en. 


OF Bernardo del Carpio, we find little or nothing in 
the French romances of Charlemagne. He be- 
longs exclusively to Spanish History, or rather, perhaps, 
to Spanish Romance. The continence which procured 
for Alphonso (who succeeded to the precarious throne of 
the Christians in the Asturias about 795) the epithet of 
'' The Chaste," was not universal in his family. By an 
intrigue with Sancho Diaz, Count of Saldatia, orSaldeiia, 
Doiia Ximena, sister of this virtuous prince, bore a son. 
Some chroniclers attempt to gloss over this incident by al- 
leging that a private marriage had taken place betw^een the 
lovers ; but King Alphonso, who was well nigh sainted 
for living only in platonic union with his wife Bertha, 
took the scandal greatly to heart. He shut up the pec- 
cant Princess in a cloister, and imprisoned her gallant 
in the castle of Luna, where he caused him to be deprived 
of sight. Fortunately, his wrath did not extend to the 
offspring of their stolen affections, Bernardo del Carpio. 


40 G^be jflRarcb of :fiSernar^o 5c( Carpio 

When the youth had grown up to manhood, Alphonso, 
according to the Spanish chroniclers, invited the Empe- 
ror Charlemagne into Spain, and having neglected to 
raise up heirs for the kingdom of the Goths in the ordi- 
nary manner, he proposed the inheritance of his throne 
as the price of the alliance of Charles. But the nobility, 
headed by Bernardo, remonstrated against the King's 
choice of a successor, and would on no account consent 
to receive a Frenchman as the heir of their crown. Al- 
phonso himself repented of the invitation he had given 
Charlemagne, and when that champion of Christendom 
came to expel the Moors from Spain, he found the con- 
scientious and chaste Alphonso had united with the 
infidels against him. An engagement took place in the 
renowned pass of Roncesvalles, in which the French 
were defeated, and the celebrated Roland, or Orlando, 
was slain. The victory was ascribed chiefly to the prow- 
ess of Bernardo del Carpio. 

The following ballad describes the enthusiasm excited 
among the Leonese, when Bernardo first raised his 
standard to oppose the progress of Charlemagne's army. 


WITH three thousand men of Leon, from the city 
Bernard goes, 
To protect the soil Hispanian from the spear of Prankish 
foes : 

From the city which is planted in the 
liiw) ^ } midst between the seas, 

K> ; To preserve the name and glory of old 
";>n - Pelayo's victories. 

The peasant hears upon his field the trum- 
pet of the knight, — 

He quits his team for spear and shield 
and garniture of might ; 
1^ The shepherd hears it 'mid the mist,— he 
flingeth down his crook, 

And rushes from the mountain like a 
tempest-troubled brook. 




42 XLbc /ifbarcb of :^ernar^o &el Carpio 

The youth who shows a maiden's chin, whose brows 

have ne'er been bound 
The helmet's heavy ring within, gains manhood from 

the sound ; 
The hoary sire beside the fire forgets his feebleness. 
Once more to feel the cap of steel a warrior's ringlets press. 

As through the glen his spears did gleam, these soldiers 

from the hills, 
They swelled his host, as mountain-stream receives the 

roaring rills ; 
They round his banner flocked, in scorn of haughty 

And thus upon their swords are sworn the faithful sons 

of Spain. 

" Free were we born," 't is thus they cry, *' though to our 

King we owe 
The homage and the fealty behind his crest to go ; 
By God's behest our aid he shares, but God did ne'er 

That we should leave our children heirs of an enslaved 


" Our breasts are not so timorous, nor are our arms so 

Xor are our veins so bloodless, that we our vow should 


^bc /Iftarcb ot JBernarDo Del Garpio 


To sell our freedom for the fear of Prince or Paladin ; 
At least we '11 sell our birthright dear, — no bloodless 
prize they '11 win. 

"At least King Charles, if God de- 
crees he must be Lord of Spain, 

vShall witness that the Leonese w^ere 
not aroused in vain ; 

He should bear witness that we died 
as lived our sires of old. 

Nor only of Numantium's pride 
shall minstrel tales be told. 

/ Jp%, J-, [ 

"The lion that hath bathed his 

paws in seas of Lybian gore, 
Shall he not battle for the laws and 

liberties of yore ? 
x\nointed cravens may give gold to 

whom it likes them w^ell, 
But steadfast heart and spirit bold, 

Alphonso ne'er shall sell." 




T^HIS ballad is intended to represent the feelings of 
^ Don Sancho, Count of Saldaiia, while imprisoned 
b}' King Alphonso, and, as he supposed, neglected and 
forgotten, both by his wife, or rather mistress, Dotia 
Ximena, and by his son, Bernardo del Carpio. 

The Count Don Sancho Diaz, the Signior of Saldane, 
Lies weeping in his prison, for he cannot refrain ; 
King Alphonso and his sister, of both doth he complain, 
But most of bold Bernardo, the champion of vSpain. 

" Thew^ear}^ years I durance brook, how many they have 

When on these hoary hairs I look, may easily be seen ; 
When they brought me to this castle, my curls were black 

I w^een, 
Woe worth the day ! they have grown gray these rueful 

walls between. 


Zbc Complaint ot tbe Count or SalDana 45 

**They tell me my Bernardo is the doughtiest lance in 

But if he were my loyal heir, there 's blood in every vein 
Whereof the voice his heart would hear, — his hand w^ould 

not gainsay ; 
Though the blood of kings be mixed with mine, it would 

not have all the sway. 

"Now all the three have scorn of me; unhappy man 

am I ! 
They leave me without pity ; they leave me here to die. 

A. stranger's feud, albeit rude, wxre little dole or care, 
But he 's my own, both fiesh and bone ; his scorn is ill 
to bear. 

" From Jailor and from Castellian I hear of hardiment 
And chivalry in listed plain on joust and tourney spent ; 
I hear of many a battle, in which thy spear is red. 
But help from thee comes none to me v/here I am ill 

"Some villain spot is in thy blood to mar its gentle 

Blse would it show^ forth hardihood for him from whom 

't w^as ta'en ; 
Thy hope is young, thy heart is strong, but yet a day 

may be 
When thou shalt w^eep in dungeon deep, and none thy 

weeping see." 


ACCORDING to the Chronicle, Bernardo, being at last 
wearied out of all patience by the cruelty of which 
his father was the victim, determined to quit the court of 
his King and seek an alliance among the Moors. 
Having fortified himself in the castle of Carpio, he 
made continual incursions into the territory of Leon, 
pillaging and plundering wherever he came. The King 
at length besieged him in his stronghold ; but the defence 
was so gallant, that there appeared no prospect of suc- 
cess ; whereupon many of the gentlemen in Alphonso's 
camp entreated the King to offer Bernardo immediate 
possession of his father's person, if he would surrender 
his castle. 

Bernardo at once consented ; but the King gave orders 
to have Count Sancho Diaz taken off instantly in his 
prison. " When he was dead, they clothed him in splen- 
did attire, mounted him on horseback, and so led him 


^be J'uneral of tbe Count ot Sal^ana 47 

towards Salamanca, where his son was expecting his 
arrival. As they drew nigh the city, the King and Ber- 
nardo rode out to meet them ; and when Bernardo saw 
his father approaching, he exclaimed : ' O God ! is the 
Count of Saldaiia indeed coming? ' ' Look where he is,' 
replied the cruel King ; ' and now go and greet him whom 
you so long desired to see.' Bernardo went forward and 
took his father's hand to kiss it ; but when he felt the 
dead weight of the hand, and saw the livid face of the 
corpse, he cried aloud, and said : ' Ah, Don San Diaz, 
in an evil hour didst thou beget me ! Thou art dead, and 
I have given my stronghold for thee, and now I have lost 


ALL in the centre of the choir Bernardo's knees are 
Before him, for his murdered sire, yawns the old monu- 

His kinsman of the Carpio blood are kneeling at his back, 
With knightly friends and vassals good, all garbed in 
weeds of black. 

He comes to make the obsequies of a basely-slaughtered 

And tears are running down from eyes whence ne'er 

before they ran. 

His head is bowed upon the stone ; his heart, albeit full 

Is strong as when in days by-gone he rode o'er Frank and 

Moor ; 

And now between his teeth he mutters, that none his 

words can hear ; 
And now the voice of wrath he utters, in curses loud and 



^be J'uncral ot tbe Count ot Sal^ana 49 

^^^--^i! m!!' 

^ -^, >T I - ■ M ''11 


50 XLbc ffuneral of tbe Count of Sal^ana 

He stoops him o'er his father's shroud, his lips salute 

the bier ; 
He communes with the corse aloud, as If none else were 


His right hand doth his sword unsheath, his left doth 

pluck his beard ; 
And while his liegemen held their breath, these were the 

words they heard : — 

" Go up, go up, thou blessed ghost, into the hands of God ; 
Go, fear not lest revenge be lost, when Carpio's blood 
hath flowed ; 

'' The steel that drank the blood of France, the arm thy 

foe that shielded. 
Still, father, thirsts that burning lance, and still thy son 

can wield it." 


^T^HB incident recorded in this ballad may be supposed 
^ to have occurred immediately after the funeral of 
the Count of Saldaiia. As to what was the end of the 
knight's history, we are almost left entirely in the dark, 
both by the Chronicle and by the Romancero. It ap- 
pears to be intimated that, after his father's death, he 
once more '' took service" among the Moors, who are 
represented in several of the ballads as accustomed to 
exchange offices of courtesv with Bernardo. 



WITH some good ten of his chosen men, Bernardo 
hath appeared 
Before them all in the palace hall, the lying King to 

beard ; 
With cap in hand and eye on ground, he came in rever- 
end guise, 
But ever and anon he frowned, and flame broke from his 

*' A curse upon thee, " cries the King, "who comest un- 
hid to me ; 

But what from traitor's blood should spring, save traitors 
like to thee ? 

His sire, lords, had a traitor's heart ; perchance our 
champion brave 

May think it were a pious part to share Don Sancho's 

"Whoever told this tale the King hath rashness to re- 

Cries Bernard, " here my gage I fling before TiiE i^iar's 


:fi3ernarDo anD Blpboneo 53 

No treason was in Sancho's blood, no stain in mine doth 

Below the throne what knight will own the coward 


''The blood that I like water shed, when Roland did 

By secret traitors hired and led, to make us slaves of 

France ; 
The life of King Alphonso I saved at Roncesval, — 
Your words. Lord King, are recompense abundant for it 


"Your horse was down, — your hope was flown, — I saw 
the falchion shine, 

That soon had drunk your royal blood, had I not ven- 
tured mine ; 

But memory soon of service done deserteth the ingrate ; 

You 've thanked the son for life and crown by the 
father's bloody fate. 

" Ye swore upon your kingly faith, to set Don Sancho 

free ; 
But, curse upon your paltering breath, the light he ne'er 

did see ; 
He died in dungeon cold and dim, by Alphonso's base 

And visage blind, and stiffened limb, were all they gave 

to me. 

54 JSernarDo auD Blpbonso 

" The King that swer^-eth from his word hath stained his 

purple black ; 
Xo Spanish lord will draw the sword behind a liar's back ; 
But noble vengeance shall be mine, an open hate I '11 

show, — 
The King hath injured Carpio's line, and Bernard is his 


** Seize, seize him ! " loud the King doth scream ; *' There 

are a thousand here ! 
Let his foul blood this instant stream. What ! caitiffs, 

do ye fear ? 
Seize, seize the traitor ! " — But not one to move a finger 

Bernardo standeth by the throne, and calm his sword he 


He drew the falchion from the sheath, and held it up on 

And all the hall was still as death ; cries Bernard : 

"Here am I, — 
And here is the sword that owns no lord, excepting 

heaven and me ; 
Fain would I know who dares his point, — King, Conde, 

or Grandee." 

Then to his mouth the horn he drew (it hung below his 

cloak) ; 
His ten true men the signal knew, and through the riug 

they broke ; 

:fi3ernardo anD Blpboneo 


With helm on head, and blade in hand, the knights the 

circle brake, 
And back the lordlings 'gan to stand, and the false King 

to quake. 

"Ha ! Bernard," quoth Alphonso, '' what means this war- 
like guise ? 

Ye know full well I jested, — ye know^ your worth I prize. " 

But Bernard turned upon his heel, and smiling passed 
away : 

Long rued Alphonso and his realm the jesting of that 


THE reign of King Ramiro was short, but glorious. 
He had not been many months seated on the 
throne when Abderahman, the second of that name, sent 
a formal embassy to demand payment of an odious and 
ignominious tribute, which had been agreed to in the 
days of former and weaker princes, but which, it would 
seem, had not been exacted by the Moors while such men 
as Bernardo del Carpio and Alphonso the Great headed 
the forces of the Christians. This tribute was a hundred 
virgins per anniiin. King Ramiro refused compliance, 
and marched to meet the army of Abderahman. The 
battle was fought near Albayda (or Alveida), and lasted 
for two entire days. On the first day the superior disci- 
pline of the Saracen chivalry had nearly accomplished a 
complete victory when the approach of night separated 
the combatants. During the night Saint lago stood in a 
\dsion before the King, and promised to be with him 


ttbe /IIbaiC)en tribute 57 

next morning in the field. Accordingly the warlike 
apostle made his appearance, mounted on a milk-white 
charger, and armed cap-a-pie in radiant mail, like a true 
knight. The Moors sustained a signal defeat, and the 
Maiden Tribute was never afterwards paid, although 
often enough demanded. Such is in substance the story 
as narrated by Mariana (see Book vii., chap, 13), who fixes 
the date of the battle of Alveida in the year 844, being the 
second year after the accession of King Ramiro. 

Mr. Southey says that there is no mention of this battle 
of Alveida in the three authors who lived nearest the 
time ; but adds that the story of Santiago's making his 
first appearance in a field of battle on the Christian side 
is related at length by King Ramiro himself, in a charter 
granting a perpetual tribute of wine, corn, etc., to the 
Church of Compostella. Mr. vSouthey says that the only 
old ballad he has seen in the Portuguese language is 
founded upon a story of a Maiden Tribute. vSee the 
notes to his '' Cid," p. 377. 


THK noble King Ramiro within the chamber sate 
One day, with all his barons, in council and debate 
When, without leave or guidance of usher or of groom, 
There came a comely maiden into the council-room. 

She was a comely maiden, — she was surpassing fair ; 
All loose upon her shoulders hung down her golden hair ; 
From head to foot her garments were white as white 

may be ; 
And while they gazed in silence, thus in the midst spake 

she: — 

" Sir King, I crave your pardon if I have done amiss 
In venturing before ye at such an hour as this ; 
But I will tell my story, and when my words ye hear, 
I look for praise and honor, and no rebuke I fear. 

''I know not if I 'm bounden to call thee by the name 
Of Christian, King Ramiro ; for though thou dost not 


XLbc /HbaiDen tribute so 

A heathen realm's allegiance, a heathen sure thou art ; 
Beneath a Spaniard's mantle thou hidest a Moorish 

"For he who gives the Moor-King a hundred maids of 

Bach year when in its season the day comes round again, 
If he be not a heathen, he swells the heathen's train ; 
'T were better burn a kingdom than suffer such disdain. 

" If the Moslem must have tribute, make 7Hen your trib- 

Send idle drones to tease them within their hives of 
honey ; 

For, when 't is paid with maidens, from every maid there 

Some five or six strong soldiers to serve the Moorish King. 

"It is but little wisdom to keep our men at home. 

They serve but to get damsels, who, when their day is 

Must go, like all the others, the heathen's bed to sleep 

in ; 
In all the rest they 're useless, and nowise worth the 


" And if 't is fear of battle that makes ye bow so low, 
And suffer such dishonor from God our Saviour's foe, 

6o tTbe /Ifcai^en tribute 

I pray you, sirs, take warning, — ye '11 have as good a 

If e'er the Spanish damsels arise themselves to right. 

**'T is we have manly courage within the breasts of 

But ye are all hare-hearted, both gentlemen and yeomen." 
Thus spake that fearless maiden ; I wot when she was 

Uprose the King Ramiro and his nobles every one. 

The King called God to witness, that come there weal or 

Thenceforth no Maiden Tribute from out Castile should 

** At least I will do battle on God our Saviour's foe, 
And die beneath my banner before I see it so." 

A cry went through the mountains when the proud Moor 

drew near. 
And trooping to Ramiro came every Christian spear ; 
The blessed Saint lago, they called upon his name — 
That day began our freedom, and wiped away our shame. 

^be /nbai^cn tribute 




THE story of Fern an Gonzalez is detailed in the 
' ' Chronica Antigua de Espana " with so many roman- 
tic circumstances, that certain modern critics have been 
inclined to consider it as entirely fabulous. Of the main 
facts recorded, there seems, however, to be no good rea- 
son to doubt ; and it is quite certain that, from the ear- 
liest times, the name of Fernan Gonzalez has been held 
in the highest honor by the Spaniards themselves, of 
every degree. He lived at the beginning of the tenth 
century. It was under his rule, according to the Chron- 
icles, that Castile first became an independent Christian 
state, and it was by his exertions that the first foundations 
were laid of that system of w^arfare, by which the Moor- 
ish power in Spain w^as at last overthrown. 

He was so fortunate as to have a wnfe as heroic as him- 
self, and both in the chronicles, and in the ballads, 
abundant justice is done to her merits. 

She twice rescued Fernan Gonzalez from confinement, 

^bc Escape ot Count J'ernan 0on3ale3 63 

at the risk of her own life. He had asked, or designed 
to ask, her hand in marriage of her father, Garcias, King 
of Navarre, and was on his way to that prince's court, 
when he was seized and cast into a dungeon, in conse- 
quence of the machinations of his enemy, the Queen of 
Leon, sister to the King of Navarre. Sancha, the young 
princess to whose alliance he had aspired, being in- 
formed of the cause of his journey, and of the sufferings 
to which it had exposed him, determined, at all hazards, 
to effect his liberation ; and having done so, by bribing 
his jailor, she accompanied his flight to Castile. 

Many years after he fell into an ambush prepared for 
him by the same implacable enemy, and was again a fast 
prisoner in Leon. His countess, feigning a pilgrimage 
to Compostella, obtained leave, in the first place, to pass 
through the hostile territory, and afterwards, in the 
course of her progress, to spend one night in the castle 
where her husband was confined. She exchanged clothes 
with him, and he was so fortunate as to pass in his dis- 
guise through the guards who attended on him — his 
courageous wife remaining in his place, — exactly in the 
same manner in which the Countess of Nithsdale effected 
the escape of her lord from the Tower of London on the 
23d of February, 1715. 

64 Zbc :!E6cape of Count ffernan (3on3ale3 

There is, as might be supposed, a whole body of old 
ballads, concerning the adventures of Fernan Gonzalez. 
I shall as a specimen, translate one of the shortest of 
these — that in which the first of his romantic escapes 
is described. 


THEY have carried afar into Navarre the great Count 
of Castile, 
And they have bound him sorely, they have bound him 

hand and heel ; 
The tidings up the mountains go, and down among the 

*'To the rescue! to the rescue, ho ! — they have ta'en 
Fernan Gonzalez ! ' ' 

A pilgrim knight of Normandy was riding through Na- 

For Christ his hope he came to cope with the Moorish 
scymitar ; 

To the Alcayde of the Tower, in secret thus said he : 

** These bezaunts fair with thee I '11 share, so I this lord 
may see." 

The Alcayde w^as full joyful, — he took the gold full 

soon ; 
He brought him to the dungeon, ere the rising of the 

moon ; 


66 iTbe ^Escape ot Count ffernan 6on3ale3 

He let him out at morning; at the gray light of the prime ; 
But many words between these lords had passed within 
that time. 

The Norman knight rides swiftly, for he hath made him 

To a king that is full joyous, and to a feastful towm ; 
For there is joy and feasting, because that lord is ta'en, — 
King Garci in his dungeon holds the doughtiest lord in 


The Norman feasts among the guests, but, at the evening 
He speaks to Garci's daughter, within her bower, aside ; 
'' Now God forgive us, lady, and God his mother dear, 
For on a day of sorrow we have been blithe of cheer. 

''The Moors may well be joyful, but great should be our 

For Spain has lost her guardian, when Castile has lost her 

chief ; 
The Moorish host is pouring like a river o'er the land, — 
Curse on the Christian fetters that bind Gonzalez' hand ! 

*' Gonzalez loves thee, lady, — he loved thee long ago, 
But little is the kindness that for his love you show ; 
The curse that lies on Cava's-" head, it may be shared by 

thee ; — 
Arise, let love with love be paid, and set Gonzalez free." 

* Caba, or Cava, the unfortunate daughter of Count Julian. No 
child in Spain was ever christened by that ominous name after the 
downfall of the Gothic kingdom. 

^be :!£0cape of Count Jernan (3on3alc3 67 

The lady answered little, but at the mirk of night, 
When all hermaids are sleeping, she hath risen andta'en 

her flight ; 
She hath tempted the Alcayde with her jewels and her 

And unto her his prisoner that Jailor false hath sold. 

She took Gonzalez by the hand, at the dawning of the day, 
She said : '' Upon the heath you stand, — before you lies 

your way ; 
But if I to my father go, alas ! what must I do ? 
My father will be angry, — I fain w^ould go with you.'* 

He hath kissed the Infanta, — he hath kissed her brow and 

And lovingly together the forest-path they seek ; 
Till in the greenwood hunting they meet a lordly priest, 
With his bugle at his girdle, and his hawk upon his wrist. 

*'Now stop ! now stop ! " the priest he said (he knew 

them both right well), 
**Now stop, and pay your ransom, or I your flight will 

tell ; 
Now stop, thou fair Infanta, for, if my w^ords you scorn, 
I '11 give warning to the foresters wdth the blowing of my 


7f -X- ^ * * -Jf Vf 

The base priest's words Gonzalez heard; " Now, by the 

rood ! " quoth he, 
** A hundred deaths I '11 suffer, or ere this thing shall be." 

68 ^be 3S6cape of Count ffernan (5on3alc3 

But in his ear she whispered, she whispered soft and low, 
And to the priest she beckoned within the wood to go. 

It was ill with Count Gonzalez, the fetters pressed his 

knees ; 
Yet as he could he followed within the shady trees ; — 
'' For help, for help, Gonzalez ! — for help," he hears her 

** God aiding, fast I '11 hold thee, until my lord come 


He has come within the thicket — there lay they on the 

green, — 
And he has plucked from off the grass the false priest's 

javelin ; 
Firm by the throat she held him bound, — down went the 

weapon sheer, 
Down through his body to the ground, even as the boar 

ye spear. 

They wrapped him in his mantle, and left him there to 

And all that day they held their way, — his palfrey served 

their need ; 
Till to their ears a sound did come, might fill their hearts 

with dread, 
A steady whisper on the breeze, and horsemen's heavy 


^be Becape of Count jfenian (3on3ale3 69 

The Infanta trembled in the wood, 

but forth the Count did go, 
And, gazing wide, a troop descried 

upon the bridge below, 
" Gramercy ! " quoth Gonzalez, ''or 

else ni}^ sight is gone, 
Methinks I know the pennon yon 

sun is shining on. 

*' Come forth, come forth, Infanta, 

mine own true men they be, — 
Come forth, and see my banner, and 

cry Castile I with me ! 
My merry men draw near me, I see m} 

pennon shine, 
Their swords shine bright. Infanta, - 

and every blade is thine." 

■ ^ • 


''TT was," sa^^s Mariana, "in the year 986, that the 
*^ seven most noble brothers, commonly called the 
Infants of Lara, were slain by the treachery of Ruy Ve- 
lasquez, who was their uncle, for they were the sons of 
his sister. Dona Sancha. By the father's side they were 
sprung from the Counts of Castile, through the Count 
Don Diego Porcellos, from whose daughter, and Nutio 
Pelchides, there came two sons, namely, Nufio Rasura, 
great-grandfather of the Count Garci Fernandez, and 
Gustio Gonzalez. The last-named gentleman was father 
of Gonzalo Gustio, Lord of Salas of Lara ; and his sons 
were those seven brothers famous in the history of Spain, 
not more by reason of their deeds of prowess, than of the 
disastrous death which was their fortune. They were all 
knighted in the same day by the Count Don Garcia, 
according to the fashion w^hich prevailed in those days, 
and more especially in Spain. 


Zbc Seven 1beat)6 71 

'* Now it happened that Ruy Velasquez, Lord of Vil- 
laren, celebrated his nuptials in Burgos with DoSa Lam- 
bra, a lady of very high birth, from the country of 
Briviesca, and, indeed, a cousin-germ an to the Count 
Garcia Fernandez himself. The feast was splendid, and 
great was the concourse of principal gentry ; and among 
others were present the Count Garci Fernandez, and 
those seven brothers, with Gonzalo Gustio, their father. 

'' From some trivial occasion, there arose a quarrel be- 
tween Gonzalez, the youngest of the seven brothers, on 
the one hand, and a relation of Dona Lambra, by name 
Alvar Sanchez, on the other, without, however, any very 
serious consequences at the time. But Doiia Lambra con- 
ceived herself to have been insulted by the quarrel, and, 
in order to revenge herself, when the seven brothers were 
come as far as Barvadiello, riding in her train the more 
to do her honor, she ordered one of her slaves to throw at 
Gonzalez a wild cucumber soaked in blood, a heavy insult 
and outrage, according to the then existing customs and 
opinions of Spain. The slave, having done as he was 
bid, fled for protection to his lady. Dona Lambra ; but 
that availed him nothing, for they slew him within the 
very folds of her garments. 

'' Ruy Velasquez, w^ho did not witness these things with 

72 Seven IbeaDs 

his own eyes, no sooner returned, than, filled with wrath 
on account of this slaughter, and of the insult to his 
bride, he began to devise how he might avenge himself 
of the seven brothers. 

" With semblances of peace and friendship, he concealed 
his mortal hatred ; and, after a time, Gonzalo Gustio, the 
father, was sent by him, suspecting nothing, to Cordova. 
The pretence was to bring certain moneys which had 
been promised to Ruy Velasquez by the barbarian king, 
but the true purpose, that he might be put to death at a 
distance from his own country ; for Ruy Velasquez asked 
the Moor to do this, in letters written in the Arabic 
tongue, of which Gonzalo was made the bearer. The 
Moor, however, w^hether moved to have compassion on 
the gray hairs of so principal a gentleman, or desirous 
of at least making a show of humanity, did not slay 
Gonzalo, but contented himself with imprisoning him. 
Nor was his durance of the strictest, for a certain sister 
cf the Moorish King found ingress, and held communica- 
tion with him there ; and from that conversation, it is 
said, sprung Mudara Gonzalez, author and founder of 
that most noble Spanish lineage of the Manriques. 

'' But the fierce spirit of Ruy Velasquez was not satis- 
fied with the tribulations of Gonzalo Gustio ; he carried 

XLbc Seven 1beat)6 73 

his rage still farther. Pretending to make an incursion 
into the Moorish country, he led into an ambuscade 
the seven brothers, who had, as yet, conceived no 
thought of his treacherous intentions. It is true that 
Nutio Sallido, their grandfather, had cautioned them with 
many warnings, for he, indeed, suspected the deceit ; but 
it was in vain, for so God willed, or permitted. They had 
some two hundred horsemen with them, of their vassals, 
but these were nothing against the great host of Moors 
that set upon them from the ambuscade ; and although, 
when they found how it was, they acquitted themselves 
like good gentlemen, and slew many, they could accom- 
plish nothing except making the victory dear to their 
enemies. They were resolved to avoid the shame of cap- 
tivity, and were all slain, together with their grandfather 
Sallido. Their heads were sent to Cordova, an agree- 
able present to the King, but a sight of misery to their 
aged father, who, being brought into the place where 
they were, recognized them in spite of the dust and blood 
with which they were disfigured. It is true, neverthe- 
less, that he derived some benefit therefrom ; for the 
King, out of the compassion which he felt, set him at 
liberty to depart to his own country. 

'' Mudara, the son born to Gonzalo (out of wedlock) 

G:be Seven 1bea^5 

by the sister of the Moor, when he had attained the age 
of fourteen years, was prevailed on by his mother to go 
in search of his father ; and he it was that avenged the 
death of his seven brothers by slaying with his own hand 
Ruy Velasquez, the author of that calamity. Doiia Lam- 
bra likewise, who had been the original cause of all those 
e\41s, was stoned to death by him and burnt. 

'' By this vengeance which he took for the murder of 
his seven brothers, he so won to himself the good-liking 
of his father's wife, DofLa Sancha, and of all the kindred, 
that he was received and acknowledged as heir to the 
signiories of his father. Doiia Sancha herself adopted 
him as her son, and the manner of the adoption was 
thus, not less memorable than rude. The same da}^ that 
he was baptized and stricken knight, by Garci Fernan- 
dez, Count of Castile, the lady made use of this cere- 
mony : she drew him within a very wide smock by the 
sleeve, and thrust his head forth at the neck-band, and 
then kissing him on the face, delivered him to the family 
as her owm child. . . . 

"In the cloister of the monastery of St. Peter of Ar- 
lanza, they show the sepulchre of Mudara. But concern- 
ing the place where his seven brothers were buried, 
there is a dispute between the members of that house and 

Zbc Seven 1beaD6 75 

those of the Monastery of Saint Millan at Cogolla."— 
(Mariana, Book viii., chap. 9.) 

Such is Mariana's edition of the famous story of the 
Infants of Lara, a story which, next to the legends of the 
Cid, and of Bernardo del Carpio, appears to have fur- 
nished the most favorite subjects of the old Spanish min- 

The ballad a translation of which follows, relates to a 
part of the history briefly alluded to by Mariana. In the 
Chronicle we are informed more minutely, that, after the 
Seven Infants were slain, Almanzor, King of Cordova, 
invited his prisoner, Gonzalo Gustio, to feast with him 
in his palace ; but when the Baron of Lara came, in obedi- 
ence to the royal invitation, he found the heads of his 
sons set forth in chargers on the table. The old man re- 
proached the King bitterly for the cruelty and baseness 
of this proceeding, and suddenly snatching a sword from 
the side of one of the royal attendants, sacrificed to his 
wrath, ere he could be disarmed and fettered, thirteen of 
the Moors who surrounded the person of Almanzor. 

Forty highly spirited engravings of scenes in this ro- 
mantic history, by Tempesta, after designs of Otto Van 
Veen, were published at Antw^erp in 1612. 



^HO bears such heart of baseness, a king I '11 never 

Thus spake Gonzalo Gustio, within Almanzor's hall ; 
To the proud Moor, Almanzor, within his kingly hall, 
The gra}' -haired Knight of Lara thus spake before them 

'' In courteous guise, Almanzor, your messenger was sent, 
And courteous was the answer with which from me he 

went ; 
For why ? — I thought the word he brought of a knight 

and of a king ; 
But false Moor henceforth never me to his feast shall 


"Ye bade me to your banquet, and I at your bidding 

came ; 
Accursed be the villainy, eternal be the shame ; 
For ye have brought an old man forth, that he your sport 

might be — 
Thank God, I cheat youof your joy, — thank God, no tear 

you see. 


ttbe Seven 1beaD6 77 

'' My gallant boys," quoth Lara, " it is a heavy sight 
These dogs have brought your father to look upon this 

Seven gentler boys, nor braver, were never nursed in 

And blood of Moors, God rest your souls, ye shed on her 

like rain. 

" Some currish plot, some trick (God wot !) hath laid you 

all so low, 
Ye died not all together in one fair battle so ; 
Not all the misbelievers ever pricked upon yon plain 
The seven brave boys of Lara in open field had slain. 

*'The youngest and the w^eakest, Gonzalez dear ! wert 

Yet well this false Almanzor remembers thee, I trow ; 
Oh, w^ell doth he remember how on his helmet rung 
Thy fiery mace, Gonzalez! although thou wert so young. 

" Thy gallant horse had fallen, and thou hadst mounted 

Upon a stray one in the field, — his own true barb had he ; 
Oh, hadst thou not pursued his flight upon that runaway, 
Ne'er had the caitiff 'scaped that night, to mock thy sire 

to-day ! 

''False Moor, I am thy captive thrall ; but when thou 

badest me forth. 
To share the banquet in thy hall, I trusted in the worth 

78 tTbe Seven 1bea^6 

Of kingly promise. Think'st thou not my God will hear 
my prayer ? — 

Lord ! branchless be (like mine) his tree, — yea, branch- 
less, Lord, and bare ! " 

So prayed the Baron in his ire, but when he looked again, 
Then burst the sorrow of the sire, and tears ran down like 

rain ; 
Wrath no more could check the sorrow of the old and 

childless man. 
And like waters in a furrow, down his cheeks the salt 

tears ran. 

He took their heads up one by one, — he kissed them o'er 

and o'er. 
And aye ye saw the tears down run, — I wot that grief was 

He closed the lids on their dead eyes all with his fingers 

And handled all their bloody curls, and kissed their lips 

so pale. 

*' Oh, had ye died all by my side upon some famous day, 
My fair young men, no weak tears then had washed your 

blood away 1 
The trumpet of Castile had drowned the misbelievers' 

And the last of all the Lara's line a Gothic spear had 

borne ! " 

tlbc Seven 1beaD0 79 

With that it chanced a Moor drew near, to lead him from 
the place, 

Old Lara stooped him down once more, and kissed Gon- 
zalez' face ; 

But ere the man observed him, or could his gesture bar, 

Sudden he from his side had grasped that Moslem's 

Oh ! swiftly from its scabbard the crooked blade he drew, 
And, like some frantic creature, among them all he 

flew ; — 
"Where, where is false Almanzor ? — back, bastards of 

Mahoun ! " 
And here and there, in his despair, the old man hewed 

them down. 

A hundred hands, a hundred brands, are ready in the 

But ere they mastered Lara, thirteen of them did fall ; 
He has sent, I ween, a good thirteen of dogs that spurned 

his God, 
To keep his children company beneath the Moorish sod. 



HIS is another of the many ballads concerning the 
Infants of Lara. One verse of it — 

Kl espera que tu diste a los Infantes de Lara ! 

Aqui moriras traj-dor enemigo de Donna Sancha, 

— is quoted by Sancho Panza, in one of the last chapters 
of " Don Ouixote." 

To the chase goes Rodrigo with hound and with hawk ; 
But what game he desires is revealed in his talk : 
" Oh, in vain have I slaughtered the Infants of Lara, 
There 's an heir in his hall — there 's the bastard Mudara. 


XLbc IDen^eance of /IlbuDara 8i 

There 's the son of the renegade, — spawn of Mahoun, 
If I meet with Mudara, my spear brings him down." 

While Rodrigo rides on in the heat of his w^rath, 

A stripling, armed cap-a-pie, crosses his path : 

''Good morrow, young esquire." — "Good morrow, old 

" Will you ride with our party, and share our delight ? " 
''Speak your name, courteous stranger," the stripling 

replied ; 
"Speak your name and your lineage, ere wnth you I 


" My name is Rodrigo," thus answered the knight ; 
" Of the line of old Lara, though barred from my right ; 
For the kinsman of Salas proclaims for the heir 
Of our ancestor's castles and forestries fair, 
A bastard, a renegade's offspring — Mudara — 
Whom I '11 send, if I can, to the Infants of Lara." 

" I behold thee, disgrace to thy lineage ! — with joy, 
I behold thee, thou murderer ! " — answered the boy. 
" The bastard you curse, you behold him in me ; 
But his brothers' avenger that bastard shall be ; 
Draw ! for I am the renegade's offspring, Mudara ; 
We shall see who inherits the life-blood of Lara ! " 

82 XLbc Vengeance ot /IftuDara 

" I am armed for the forest-chase, — not for the fight ; 
Let me go for my shield and my sword," cries the 

"Now the mercy you dealt to my brothers of old, 
Be the hope of that mercy the comfort you hold ; 
Die, foeman to Sancha — die, traitor to Lara ! " 
As he spake, there was blood on the spear of Mudara. 


THE following passage occurs in Mariana's History^ 
(Book viii., chap. 5) : ''There are who affirm that 
this Moor's name was Abdalla, and that he had to wife 
Doha Theresa, sister to Alphonso, King of Leon, with 
consent of that prince. Great and flagrant dishonor ! 
The purpose was to gain new strength to his kingdom by 
this Moorish alliance ; but some pretences were set forth 
that Abdalla had exhibited certain signs of desiring to be 
a Christian, that in a short time he was to be baptized, 
and the like. 

''The Lady Theresa, deceived with these representa- 
tions, w^as conducted to Toledo, where the nuptials were 
celebrated in great splendor, with games and sports, and 
a banquet, which lasted until night. The company hav- 
ing left the tables, the bride was then carried to bed ; 
but when the amorous Moor drew near to her, — ' Aw^ay ! ' 
she said ; ' let such heavy calamity, such baseness, be 
far from me ! One of two things must be, — either be 


84 ^be TlXIleDDina ot tbe XaD^ ^beresa 

baptized, thou with thy people, and then come to my 
arms, or, refusing to do so, keep away from me forever. 
If otherwise, fear the vengeance of men, who will not 
overlook my insult and suffering ; and the wrath of God 
above all, which will follow the violation of a Christian 
lady's chastity. Take good heed, and let not luxury, that 
smooth pest, be thy ruin.' But the Moor took no heed 
of her words, and lay with her against her will. The Di- 
vine vengeance followed swiftly, for there fell on him a 
severe malady, and he well knew within himself from 
what cause it arose. Immediately he sent back Doiia 
Theresa to her brother's house, with great gifts, which 
he had bestowed on her ; but she made herself a nun, in 
the Convent of Las Huelgas (near Burgos), and there 
passed the remainder of her days in pious labors and de- 
votions, in which she found her consolation for the out- 
rage that had been committed on her." 

The ballad, of which a translation follows, tells the 
same story : 

" Kn los reynos de lyCon el quinto Alfonso reynava," etc. 


"T^ WAS when the fifth Alphonso in Leon held his sway, 

1 King Abdalla of Toledo an embassy did send ; 
He asked his sister for a wife, and in an evil day 
Alphonso sent her, for he feared Abdalla to offend. 
He feared to move his anger, for many times before 
He had received in danger much succor from the Moor. 

vSad heart had fair Theresa when she their paction knew ; 
With streaming tears she heard them tell she 'mong the 

Moors must go ; 
That she, a Christian damosell, a Christian firm and 

Must wed a Moorish husband, it well might cause her 



86 ^be me^Mng of tbe Xat)^ ^beresa 

But all her tears and all her prayers they are of small 

avail ; 
At length she for her fate prepares, a victim sad and pale. 

The King hath sent his sister to fair Toledo town, 
Where then the Moor Abdalla his royal state did keep ; 
When she drew near, the Moslem from his golden throne 

came down, 
And courteously received her, and bade her cease to weep ; 
With loving words he pressed her to come his bower 

within ; 
With kisses he caressed her, but still she feared the sin. 

'' Sir King, Sir King, I pray thee," — 't was thus Theresa 

'' I pray thee have compassion, and do to me no wrong ; 
For sleep with thee I may not, unless the vows I break 
Whereby I to the holy church of Christ my Lord belong ; 
But thou hast sworn to serve Mahoun, and if this thing 

should be, 
The curse of God it must bring down upon thy realm and 


" The angel of Christ Jesu, to whom my heavenly Lord 
Hath given my soul in keeping, is ever by my side ; 
If thou dost me dishonor, he will unsheath his sword. 
And smite thy body fiercely, at the crying of thy bride. 
Invisible he standeth ; his sword, like fiery flame. 
Will penetrate thy bosom, the hour that sees my shame." 

XLbc MeDMng of tbe XaD^ XLbcvcea 87 

The Moslem heard her with a smile ; the earnest words 

she said 
He took for bashful maiden's wile, and drew her to his 

In vain Theresa prayed and strove, — she pressed Ab- 

dalla's bed. 
Perforce received his kiss of love, and lost her maiden 

A woful woman there she lay, a loving lord beside, 
And earnestly to God did pray her succor to provide. 

The Angel of Christ Jesu her sore complaint did hear, 

And plucked his heavenly weapon from out its sheath 
unseen ; 

He waved the brand in his right hand, and to the King 
came near, 

And drew the point o'er limb and joint, beside the weep- 
ing Queen. 

A mortal weakness from the stroke upon the King did 

He could not stand when daylight broke, but on his 
knees must crawl. 

Abdalla shuddered inly, when he this sickness felt, 
And called upon his barons, his pillow to come nigh. 
"Rise up," he said, " my liegemen," as round his bed 

they knelt, 
*^ And take this Christian lady, else certainly I die ; 

ttbe MeDDiuQ of tbe XaD^ Zbcxcs^ 

Let gold be in your girdles, and precious stones beside, 
And swiftly ride to Leon, and render up my bride." 

When they were come to Leon, Theresa w^ould not go 
Into her brother's dwelling, where her maiden years 

were spent ; 
But o'er her downcast visage a white veil she did throw, 
And to the ancient nunnery of Las Huelgas went. 
There long, from w^orldly eyes retired, a holy life she led ; 
There she, an aged saint, expired, — there sleeps she with 

the dead. 

f^Ti r -r^^r^'v 

THE) ballads in the collection of Escobar, 
entitled, '' Roman cero e Historia del 
muy valeroso Cavallero Kl Cid Ruy Diaz 
de Bivar, ' ' are said by Mr. Southey to be in 
general possessed of but little merit. Not- 
withstanding the opinion of that great scholar 
and poet, I have had much pleasure in read- 
ing them ; and have translated a very few, 
which may serve, perhaps, as a sufficient specimen. 

The following is a version of that which stands fifth 
Bscobar : 

** Cavalga Diego I^aynez al buen Rey besar la mano," etc. 



Now rides 

Diego Laynez to kiss the good King^s 

Three hundred men of gentry go with him from his land ; 
Among them, young Rodrigo, the proud Knight of Bivar ; 
The rest on mules are mounted, he on his horse of war. 

They ride in glittering gowns of soye, — he harnessed like 
a lord ; 

There is no gold about the boy, but the crosslet of his 
sword ; 

The rest have gloves of sweet perfume, — he gauntlets 
strong of mail ; 

They broidered cap and flaunting plume, — he crest un- 
taught to quail. 

All talking with each other thus along their way they 

But now they 've come to Burgos, and met the King at 

When they came near his nobles, a whisper through 

them ran, — 
*' He rides amidst the gentry that slew the Count Lozan.'* 


XLbc l^ouncj GiD 91 

With very haughty gesture Rodrigo reined his horse, 
Right scornfully he shouted, when he heard them so 

discourse : 
** If any of his kinsmen or vassals dare appear, 
The man to give them answer, on horse or foot, is here." 

''The devil ask the question!" thus muttered all the 

band ; — 
With that they all alighted, to kiss the good King's 

hand, — 
All but the proud Rodrigo, he in his saddle stayed, — 
Then turned to him his father (you may hear the words 

he said) : 

"Now, 'light, my son, I pray thee, and kiss the good 

King's hand, 
He is our lord, Rodrigo ; we hold of him our land." 
But when Rodrigo heard him, he looked in sulky sort, — 
I wot the words he answered, they were both cold and 


"Had any other said it, his pains had well been paid, 
But thou, sir, art my father, thy word must be obeyed." 
With that he sprung down lightly, before the King to 

But as the knee was bending, out leapt his blade of steel. 

92 ZTbe l!?ouncj GiD 

The King drew back in terror, when he saw the sword 

was bare ; 
'^ Stand back, stand back, Rodrigo ! in the devil's name, 

beware ! 
Your looks bespeak a creature of father Adam's mould. 
But in your wild behavior you 're like some lion bold." 

When Rodrigo heard him say so, he leapt into his seat, 
And thence he made his answer, with visage nothing 

sweet, — 
'' I 'd think it little honor to kiss a kingly palm. 
And if my father 's kissed it thereof ashamed I am." 

When he these words had uttered, he turned him from 

the gate. 
His true three hundred gentles behind him followed 

If with good gowns they came that day, with better arms 

they went ; 
And if their mules behind did stay, with horses they 're 



nPHIS ballad represents Ximena Gomez as, iu person, 

-'■ demanding of the King vengeance for the death of 

her father, whom the young Rodrigo de Bivar had fought 

and slain. 

" Grande rumor se levanta 
De gritos, armas, y vozes, 
En el Palacio de Burgos 
Donde son los buenos homes. 
Baxa el Rey de su aposento, y con el toda la Corte ; 

Y a las puertas de Palacio hallan a Ximena Gomez, 
Desmelenado el cabello, Uorando a su padre el Conde, 

Y a Rodrigo de Bivar ensangrentado el estoque." 



WITHIN the court at Burgos a clamor doth arise, 
Of arms on armor clashing, of screams, and 
shouts, and cries. 
The good men of the King, that sit his hall around, 
All suddenly upspring, astonished at the sound. 

The King leans from his chamber, from the balcony on 

*'What means this furious clamor my palace-porch so 

But when he looked below him, there were horsemen at 

the gate, 
And the fair Ximena Gomez, kneeling in woful state. 

Upon her neck, disordered, hung down the lady's hair. 
And floods of tears were streaming upon her bosom fair. 


Jlmena Demands IDencjeance 95 

Sore wept she for her father, the Count that had been 

slain ; 
Ivoud cursed she Rodrigo, whose sword his blood did 


They turned to bold Rodrigo, I wot his cheek was red ; 
With haughty wrath he listened to the words Ximena 

said : 
** Good King, I cry for justice. Now, as my voice thou 

So God befriend the children, that in thy land thou 


'' The King that doth not justice hath forfeited his claim, 
Both to his kingly station, and to his knightly name ; 
He should not sit at banquet, clad in the royal pall. 
Nor should the nobles serve him on knee within the hall. 

*' Good King, I am descended from barons bright of old, 
Who with Castilian pennons Pelayo did uphold ; 
But if my strain were lowdy, as it is high and clear. 
Thou still shouldst prop the feeble, and the afflicted hear. 

*'For thee, fierce homicide ! draw, draw thy sword once 

And pierce the breast which wdde I spread thy stroke 

Because I am a w oman, my life thou need'st not spare ; 
I am Ximena Gomez, mv slaughtered father's heir. 


f Imena BemanDs Dencjeance 

" Since thou hast slain the knight that did our faith 

And still to shameful flight all the Almanzors send, 
'T is but a little matter that I confront thee so ; 
Come, traitor, slay his daughter, she needs must be thy 


Ximena gazed upon him, but no reply could meet ; 
His fingers held the bridle, he vaulted to his seat. 
She turned her to the nobles, I wot her cry was loud. 
But not a man durst follow ; slow rode he through the 



THE reader will find the story of this ballad in Mr. 
Southey's -Chronicle (Book i., Sect. 4). "xVnd the 
Moors entered Castile in great power, for there came 
w^ith them five kings," etc. 

With fire and desolation the Moors are in Castile, 
Five Moorish kings together, and all their vassals leal ; 
They 've passed in front of Burgos, through the Oca-Hills 

they 've run. 
They 've plundered Belforado, San Domingo's harm is 


In Xajara and Logrono there 's waste and disan-ay ; — 
And now with Christian captives, a very heavy prey. 
With many men and women, and boys and girls beside. 
In joy and exultation to their own realms they ride. 

For neither king nor noble would dare their path to cross, 
Until the good Rodrigo heard of this skaith and loss ; 

qS Zhc CiD anb tbe fffve /Iftoonsb 1king6 

In old Bivar tbe castle he heard the tidings told 
(He was as 3'et a stripling, not twenty summers old). 

He mounted Bavieca, his friends he with him took, 

He raised the country round him, no more such scorn to 

brook ; 
He rode to the hills of Oca, where then tbe Moormen lay, 
He conquered all the Moormen, and took from them 

their prey. 

To every man had mounted he gave his part of gain, 
Dispersing the much treasure tbe Saracens had ta'en ; 
The kings were all the booty himself had from the war, 
Them led he to the castle, his stronghold of Bivar. 

He brought them to his mother, proud dame that day 

was she : — 
They owned him for their Siguior, and then he set them 

free ; 
Home went they, much commending Rodrigo of Bivar, 
And sent him lordly tribute, from their Moorish realms 



[See Mr. Southey's Chronicle (Book i., Sect. 5) for this part of the 
Cid's story, as given in the " General Chronicle of Spain."] 

NOW, of Rcdrigo de Bivar great was the fame that run, 
How he five kings had vanquished, proud Moor- 
men every one ; 
And how, when they consented to hold of him their 

He freed them from the prison wherein they had been 

To the good King Fernando, in Burgos where he lay, 
Came then Ximena Gomez, and thus to him did say : — 
** I am Don Gomez' daughter, in Gormaz Count was he ; 
Him slew Rodrigo of Bivar in battle valiantly. 

** Now am I come before you, this day a boon to crave, — 
And it is that I to husband may this Rodrigo have. 
Grant this, and I shall hold me a happy damosell. 
Much honored shall I hold me, — I shall be married well. 


loo Xibc GiD'6 Courteblp 

''I know he 'shorn for thriving, none like him in the 

land ; 
I know that none in battle against his spear may stand ; 
Forgiveness is well pleasing in God our Saviour's view, 
And I forgive him freely, for that my sire he slew." 

Right pleasing to Fernando was the thing she did pro- 
pose ; 
He writes his letter swiftly, and forth his foot-page goes. 
I wot, when young Rodrigo saw how the King did write. 
He leapt on Bavieca, — I wot his leap was light. 

With his own troop of true men forthwith he took the way, 
Three hundred friends and kinsmen, all gently born wxre 

they ; 
All in one color mantled, in armor gleaming gay, 
New were both scarf and scabbard, when they went forth 

that day. 

The King came out to meet him, with words of hearty 

cheer ; 
Quoth he : " My good Rodrigo, right welcome art thou 

here ; 
This girl Ximena Gomez would have thee for her lord. 
Already for the slaughter her grace she doth accord. 

*' I pray thee be consenting, my gladness will be great ; 
Thou shalt have lands in plenty, to strengthen thine 

trbe CiD'6 Courtebip . loi 

*' Lord King," Rodrigo answers, " in this and all beside, 
Command, and I '11 obey thee. The girl shall be my 
bride ! " 

But when the fair Ximena came forth to plight her hand, 
Rodrigo gazing on her, his face could not command. 
He stood and blushed before her ; — thus at the last said 

^' I slew thy sire, Ximena, but not in villainy ; 

"In no disguise I slew him, — man against man I stood ; 
There was some wrong between us, and I did shed his 

I slew" a man, I owe a man, — fair lady, by God's grace ! 
An honored husband thou shalt have in thy dead father's 



' I ^HE following ballad, which contains some curious 
-^ traits of rough and antique manners, is not included 
in Escobar's collection. There is one there descriptive 
of the same event, but apparently executed by a much 
more modern hand. 

Within his hall of Burgos the King prepares the feast ; 

He makes his preparation for many a noble guest. 

It is a joyful city, it is a gallant day, 

*T is the Campeador's wedding, and who will bide away? 

La3m Calvo, the Lord Bishop, he first comes forth the gate ; 
Behind him comes Ruy Diaz, in all his bridal state. 
The crowd makes way before them as up the street they 

For the multitude of people their steps must needs be slow. 

The King had taken order that they should rear an arch, 
From house to house all over, in the way that they must 
march ; 







I04 ^be CiD'6 •tQc^Mn^ 

They have hung it all with lances, and shields, and glit- 
tering helms, 

Brought by the Campeador from out the Moorish realms. 

They have scattered olive branches and rushes on the 

And the ladies fling down garlands at the Campeador's 
feet ; 

With tapestry and broidery their balconies between, 

To do his bridal honor, their walls the burghers screen. 

They lead the bulls before them all covered o'er with 
trappings ; 

The little boys pursue them with hootings and with 
clappings ; 

The fool, with cap and bladder, upon his ass goes pran- 

Amidst troops of captive maidens with bells and cymbals 

With antics and with fooleries, with shouting and with 

They fill the streets of Burgos — and The Devil he comes 

after ; 
For the King has hired the horned fiend for twent}- 

And there he goes, with hoofs for toes, to terrify the 


^be Ci^'e Wic^^im ^o5 

Then comes the bride Ximena, — the King he holds her 

hand ; 
And the Queen ; and, all in fur and pall, the nobles of 

the land. 
All down the street the ears of wheat are round Ximena 

But the King lifts off her bosom sweet whatever there is 


Quoth Suero, when he saw it (his thought you under- 

'* 'T is a fine thing to be a king, — but heaven make me a 

The king was very merry, when he was told of this. 

And swore the bride, ere eventide, must give the boy a 

The King went always talking, but she held down her 

And seldom gave an answer to any thing he said ; 
It was better to be silent, among such a crowd of folk. 
Than utter words so meaningless as she did when she 



T IKE our own Robert the Bruce, the great Spanish 
^-^ hero is represented as exhibiting, on many occa- 
sions, great gentleness of disposition and compassion. 
But while old Barbour is contented with such simple an- 
ecdotes as that of a poor laundress being suddenly taken 
ill with the pains of childbirth, and the King stopping the 
march of his army rather than leave her unprotected, 
the minstrels of Spain, never losing an opportunity of 
gratifying the superstitious propensities of their audi- 
ence, are sure to let no similar incident in their cham- 
pion's history pass without a miracle. 

He has ta'en some twenty gentlemen along with him to 

For he will pay that ancient vow he to Saint James doth 

owe ; 
To Compostella, where the shrine doth by the altar 

The good Rodrigo de Bivar is riding through the land. 
1 06 

^be Ci^ anD tbe Xeper 107 

Where'er he goes, much alms he throws, to feeble folks 

and poor ; 
Beside the way for him they pray, him blessings to 

For, God and Mary Mother, their heavenly grace to win, 
His hand was ever bountiful : great was his joy therein. 

And there, in the middle of the path, a leper did appear ; 
In a deep slough the leper lay ; to help would none 

come near, 
Though earnestly he thence did cry: ''For God our 

Saviour's sake. 
From out this fearful jeopardy a Christian brother take." 

When Roderick heard that piteous word, he from his 

horse came down ; 
For all they said no stay he made, that noble champion ; 
He reached his hand to pluck him forth, of fear was no 

Then mounted on his steed of worth, and made the leper 


Behind him rode the leprous man ; when to their 

They came, he made him eat with him at table cheerfully ; 
While all the rest from the poor guest with loathing 

shrunk away. 
To his own bed the wretch he led, beside him there he 


los ^be Cit> auD tbe Xeper 

All at the mid-hour of the night, while good Rodrigo 

A breath carae from the leprosite which through his 

shoulders crept ; 
Right through the body, by the heart, passed forth that 

breathing cold : 
I wot he leaped up with a start, in terrors manifold. 

He groped for him in the bed, but him he could not find, 
Through the dark chamber groped he, with very anxious 

mind ; 
Ivoudly he lifted up his voice, with speed a lamp was 

Yet nowhere was the leper seen, though far and near 

they sought. 

He turned him to his chamber, God wot ! perplexed sore 
With that which had befallen — when lo ! his face before, 
There stood a man all clothed in vesture shining white. 
Thus said the vision : " Sleepest thou, or wakest thou. 
Sir Knight?" 

"I sleep not," quoth Rodrigo; "but tell me who art 

"For, in the midst of darkness, much light is on thy 

brow ? " 
*'I am the holy Lazarus, I come to speak with thee; 
I am the same poor leper thou savedst for charity. 

XLbc Ci^ auD tbe Xeper 109 

'' Not vain the trial, nor in vain thy victory hath been ; 
God favors thee, for that my pain thou didst relieve 

There shall be honor with thee, in battle and in peace, 
Success in all thy doings, and plentiful increase. 

'^ Strong enemies shall not prevail thy greatness to undo ; 
Thy name shall make men's cheeks full pale — Christians 

and ^Moslem too ; 
A death of honor shalt thou che, such grace to thee is 

Thy soul shall part victoriously, and be received in 


When he these gracious words had said, the spirit van- 
ished quite. 

Rodrigo rose and knelt him down, — he knelt till morning 
light ; 

Unto the heavenly Father, and Mary ^Mother dear. 

He made his prayer right humbly, till dawned the morn- 
ing clear. 

MONTAIGNE, in his curious essa}^ 
entitled " Des Destriers," says 
that all the world knows every thing 
about Bucephalus. The name of the 
favorite charger of the Cid Ruy Diaz 
is scarcely less celebrated. Notice 
is taken of him in almost every one of the hundred 
ballads concerning the history of his master, — and there 
are some among them, of which the horse is more 



truly the hero than his rider. In one of these bal- 
lads the Cid is giving directions about his funeral ; 
he desires that they shall place his body " in full armor 
upon Bavieca," and so conduct him to the church of San 
Pedro de Cardefia. This was done accordingly ; and, 
says another ballad : 

Truxeron pues a Babieca ; 
Y en mirandole se puso 
Tan triste como si fuera 
Mas rasonable que bruto. 

In the Cid's last will mention is also made of his noble 
charger. "When ye bury Bavieca, dig deep," says Ruy 
Diaz; "for shameful thing were it, that he should be 
eaten by curs, who hath trampled down so much currish 
flesh of Moors." He was buried near his master, under 
the trees in front of the convent of San Pedro de 




THB King looked ou liim kindly, as on a vassal true ; 
Then to the King Ruy Diaz spake after reverence 
due : 
'* O King, the thing is shameful, that any man beside 
The liege lord of Castile himself should Bavieca ride ; 

"For neither Spain nor Araby could another charger 

So good as he, and certes, the best befits my king. 
But that you may behold him, and know him to the core, 
I '11 make him go as he was wont when his nostrils smelt 

the Moor." 

With that, the Cid, clad as he was in mantle furred and 

On Bavieca vaulting, put the rowel in his side ; 
And up and down, and round and round, so fierce was 

his career. 
Streamed like a pennon on the wind Ruy Diaz' minivere. 


114 aSa\?teca 

And all that saw them praised them, — they lauded man 

and horse, 
As matched Avell, and rivalless for gallantr^^ and force ; 
Ne'er had they looked on horseman might to this knight 

come near, 
Nor on other charger worthy of such a cavalier. 

Thus, to and fro a-rushing, the fierce and furious steed, 
He snapped in twain his hither rein — "God pity now 

the Cid !— 
God pity Diaz ! " cried the Lords, — but when they looked 

They saw Ruy Diaz ruling him, with the fragment of his 

rein ; 
They saw him proudh' ruling with gesture firm and 

Like a true lord commanding, — and obeyed as by a 


And so he led him foaming and panting to the King, — 
But "No!" said Don Alphonso, "it were a shameful 

That peerless Bavieca should ever be bestrid 
By any mortal but Bivar, — mount, mount again, my 





c'^^ 'T~^HE last specimen I shall give of 
nf A 1)^^ Q[^ ballads is one, the sub- 
ject of which is evidently of the most), 
apocryphal cast. It is, however, soj 
far as I recollect, the only one of all 
that immense collection that is quoted \ 
or alluded to in ' ' Don Quixote. " ' ' San- 
Ill cho, " cried the knight, " I am afraid of 
■' ^' being excommunicated for having laid 
violent hands upon a man in holy orders, Juxta illud ; si 
quis stiadente diabolo, etc. But yet, now I think better 
on it, I never touched him with my hands, but only with 

Cbe :£rcommunicatton ot tbc CiD 


my lance ; besides, I did not in the least suspect I had to 
do with priests, whom I honor and revere as every good 
Catholic and faithful Christian ought to do, but rather 
took them to be evil spirits. Well, let the worst come 
to the worst, I remember w^hat befel the Cid Ruy Diaz, 
when he broke to pieces the chair of a king's ambassador 
in the Pope's presence, for which he was excommuni- 
cated ; which did not hinder the worthy Rodrigo de Bivar 
from behaving himself that day like a valorous knight, 
and a man of honor." 




IT was when from Spain across th'^ 
main the Cid had come to Rome, 
He chanced to see chairs four and three 

beneath Saint Peter's dome : 
'*Now tell, I pray, what chairs be 
they ? " — " Seven kings do sit 

well doth suit, all at the foot of the 
holy Father's throne. 

' ' The Pope he sitteth above them all, 
that they may kiss his toe. 

Below the Keys the Flower- de-lys doth 
make a gallant show ; 

XLbc Excommunication ot tbe CiD 


For his great puissance, the King 
of France next to the Pope 
may sit, 

The rest more low, all in a row, 
as doth their station fit. ' ' 

" Ha ! " quoth the Cid, '' now, God 

forbid ! it is a shame, I wiss. 
To see the Castle planted below 

the Flower-de-lys. 
No harm, I hope, good Father 

Pope, — although I move thy 

— In pieces small he kicked it all 

('t was of the ivory fair). — ■ 

The Pope's own seat he from 

his feet did kick it far 

And the Spanish chair he 

planted upon its place 

that day ; 
Above them all he planted 

it, and laughed right 

bitterly ; 
Look sour and bad I trow 

he had, as grim as grim 

might be. 

Cbe jEjcommunication of tbe CiD 

Now when the Pope was aware of this, 

he was an angry man, 
His lips that night, with solemn rite, 

pronounced the awful ban. 
The curse of God, who died on rood, 

was on the sinner's head ; 
To hell and woe man's soul must go 

if once that curse be said. 

I wot, when the Cid was aware of 

this, a woful man was he, 
At dawn of day he came to pray at 

the blessed Father's knee : 
** Absolve me, blessed Father ! have 

pity on my prayer. 
Absolve my soul and penance I for my 

sin will bear." 

*' Who is this sinner," quoth the Pope, 

"that at my foot doth kneel ? " 
' ' I am Rodrigo Diaz — a poor baron of 

Much marvelled all were in the hall, 

when that name they heard him 

''Rise up, rise up ! " the Pope he said, 
*'I do thy guilt away; — 

Zbc jEjcommunication ot tbe GID 

''I do thy guilt away," he said, — "my curse I blot it 

God save Rodrigo Diaz, my Christian champion stout : 
I trow, if I had known thee, my grief it had been sore, 
To curse Ruy Diaz de Bivar, God's scourge upon the 



THE crowns of Castile and Leon being at length joined 
in the person of King Ferdinand, surnamed £1 
Santo^ the authority of the Moors in Spain was destined 
to receive many severe blow^s from the united efforts of 
two Christian states, which had in former times too often 
exerted their vigor against each other. The most impor- 
tant event of King Ferdinand's reign was the conquest of 
Seville, which great city yielded to his arms in the year 
1238, after sustaining a long and arduous siege of sixteen 

Don Garci Perez de Vargas was one of the most dis- 
tinguished warriors who on this occasion fought under the 
banners of Ferdinand ; and accordingly there are many 
ballads of which he is a hero. The incident celebrated in 
that which follows, is thus told, w^ith a few variations, in 
Mariana (Book xiii., chap. 7). 

" Above all others, there signalized himself in these af- 

(Barci Iperes De IDar^ae 123 

fairs that Garci Perez de Vargas, a native of Toledo, of 
whose valor so many marvellous, and almost incredible 
achievements are related. One day, about the beginning 
of the siege, this Garci, and another with him, were riding 
by the side of the river, at some distance from the out- 
posts, when, of a sudden, there came upon them a party of 
seven Moors on horseback. The companion of Perez was 
for returning immediately, but he replied, that never, even 
though he should lose his life for it, w^ould he consent to 
the baseness of flight. With that, his companion riding 
off, Perez armed himself, closed his visor, and put his lance 
in the rest. But the enemies, w^hen they knew who it 
was, declined the combat. 

'' He had therefore pursued his way by himself for some 
space, when he perceived, that in lacing the headpiece 
and shutting the visor, he had, by inadvertence, dropped 
his scarf. He immediately returned upon his steps that 
he might seek for it. The King, as it happened, had his 
eyes upon Perez all the time, for the royal tent looked 
towards the place where he w^as riding ; and he never 
doubted that the Knight had turned back for the purpose 
of provoking the Moors to the combat. But they avoided 
him as before, and he, having regained his scarf, came in 
safety to the camp. 

124 i3arci lpere3 ^e IDarciae 

" The honor of the action was much increased by this 
circumstance, that, although frequently pressed to disclose 
the name of the gentleman ^vho had deserted him in that 
moment of danger, Perez would never consent to do so, 
for his modesty was equal to his bravery. ' ' 

A little farther on, Mariana relates, that Garci Perez had 
a dispute with another gentleman, who thought proper to 
assert that Garci had no right to assume the coat-of-arms 
which he wore: ''A sally having been made by the 
Moors, that gentleman, among many more, made his es- 
cape, but Garci stood firm to his post, and never came 
back to the camp until the Moors were driven again 
into the city. He came with his shield all bruised and 
battered to the place where the gentleman was standing, 
and pointing to the effaced bearing which was on it, said : 
* Indeed, sir, it must be confessed that you show more 
respect than I do to this same coat-of-arms, for you keep 
yours bright and unsullied, while mine is sadly discolor- 
ed.' The gentleman was sorely ashamed, and henceforth 
Garci Perez bore his achievement without gainsaying or 
dispute, ' ' 


KING FERDINAND alone did stand one day upon the 
Surveying all his leaguer, and the ramparts of Seville ; 
The sight was grand, when Ferdinand by proud Seville 

was lying, 
O'er tower and tree far off to see the Christian banners 

Down chanced the King his eye to fling, where far the 

camp below 
Two gentlemen along the glen were riding soft and slow. 
As void of fear each cavalier seemed to be riding there. 
As some strong hound may pace around the roebuck's 

thicket lair. 


126 (Bare! Ipere3 t)c IDar^as 

It was Don Garci Perez, and he would breathe the air, 
And he had ta'en a knight with him, that as lief had been 

elsewhere ; 
P'or soon this knight to Garci said: "Ride, ride we, or 

we 're lost ! 
I see the glance of helm and lance, — it is the Moorish 

host! " 

The Lord of Vargas turned him round, his trusty squire 

was near, — 
The helmet on his brow he bound, his gauntlets grasped 

his spear ; 
With that upon his saddle-tree he planted him right 

•'Now come," quoth he, ''whoe'er they be, I throw 

they '11 find us ready." 

By this the knight who rode with him had turned his 

horse's head, 
And up the glen in fearful trim unto the camp had fled. 
" Ha ! gone? " quoth Garci Perez ; — he smiled, and said 

no more. 
But slowly, with his esquire, rode as he rode before. 

It was the Count Lorenzo, just then it happened so. 
He took his stand by Ferdinand, and with him gazed 

(3atci ipcre3 De IDar^aa 127 

'' My liege," quoth he, "seven Moors I see a-coming from 

the wood. 
Now bring they all the blows they may, I trow they '11 

find as good ; 
But it is Don Garci Perez, — if his cognizance they know, 
I guess it will be little pain to give them blow for blow\" 

The Moors from forth the greenwood came riding one by 

A gallant troop with armor resplendent in the sun ; 
Full haughty was their bearing, as o'er the sward they 

While the calm Lord of Vargas his march was still the 


They stood drawn up in order, while past them all 

rode he. 
For when upon his shield they saw the sable blazonry. 
And the wings of the Black Eagle, that o'er his crest was 

They knew Don Garci Perez, and never word they said. 

He took the casque from off his head, and gave it to the 

"My friend," quoth he, "no need I see why I my brows 

should tire." 
But as he doffed the helmet, he saw his scarf was gone, 
"I 've dropped it sure," quoth Garci, " when I put my 

helmet on." 

128 (3arct lpere3 Oe IDargas 

He looked around and saw the scarf, for still the Moors 
were near, 

And they had picked it from the sward, and looped it on 
a spear ; 

" These Moors," quoth Garci Perez, "uncourteous Moors 
they be, — 

Now, by my soul, the scarf they stole, yet durst not ques- 
tion me ! 

^'Now, reach once more my helmet." The squire said 

him nay, 
*' For a silken string why should you fling perchance 

your life away ? " 
" I had it from my lady," quoth Garci, '* long ago. 
And never Moor that scarf, be sure, in proud Seville shall 

show. ' ' 

But when the Moslem saw him, they stood in fine array, 
He rode among their armed throng, he rode right 

furiously ; 
''Stand, stand ye thieves and robbers, lay down my 

lady's pledge ! " 
He cried, — and ever as he cried they felt his falchion 's edge. 

That day the Lord of Vargas came to the camp alone ; 
The scarf, his lady's largess, around his breast was thrown ; 
Bare was his head, his sword was red, and from his pom- 
pel strung, 
Seven turbans green, sore hacked I ween, before Don 
Garci hung. 


A BALIvAD concerning another doughty knight of the 
same family, and most probably, considering the 
date, a brother of Garci Perez de Vargas. Its story is 
thus alluded to in " Don Quixote," in the chapter of the 
Windmills : 

*' However, the loss of his lance was no small affliction 
to him ; and as he was making his complaint about it to 
his squire, 'I have read,' said he, 'friend vSancho, that a 
certain Spanish knight, w^hose name was Diego Perez de 
Vargas, having broken his sw^ord in the heat of an en- 
gagement, pulled up by the roots a wild olive tree, or at 
least, tore down a massy branch, and did such wonderful 
execution, crushing and grinding so many Moors with it 
that day, that he w^on himself and his posterity the sur- 
name of The Pounder, or Bruiser. \_3Iachiica from 3fa- 
chiccar, to pound as in a mortar.] I tell this, because I 
intend to tear up the next oak, or holm tree, we meet ; 
with the trunk w^hereof I hope to perform such wondrous 



XLbc ipounDer 

deeds that thou wilt esteem thyself particularly happy in 
ha\ing had the honor to behold them, and been the 
ocular witness of achievements which posterity will 
scarce be able to believe. ' Heaven grant you may ! ' cried 
Sancho ; * I believe it all, because your worship says it. ' '^ 

THK Christians have beleaguered the 
famous walls of Xeres, 
Among them are Don Alvar and Dou /// 

Diego Perez, 
And many other gentlemen, who, 

day succeeding day, 
Give challenge to the Saracen and 
all his chivalrv. 

When rages the hot battle before 

the gates of Xeres, 
By trace of gore ye may explore the / 

dauntless path of Perez. 
No knight like Don Diego, — no sword like his is found 
In all the host, to hew the boast of Paynims to the ground. 

It fell one day when furiously they battled on the plain, 
Diego shivered both his lance and trusty blade in twain ; 

132 Cbe ipounDer 

The Moors that saw it shouted, for esquire none was near, 
To serve Diego at his need with falchion, mace, or spear. 

Loud, loud he blew his bugle, sore troubled was his eye, 
But by God's grace before his face there stood a tree full 

An olive tree with branches strong, close by the wall of 

Xeres, — 
"Yon goodly bough will serve, I trow," quoth Don Diego 


A gnarled branch he soon did wrench now from that olive 

Which o'er his headpiece brandishing, he spurs among 

the throng. 
God wot ! full many a Pagan must in his saddle reel ! — 
What leech may cure, what beadsman shrive, if once 

that weight ye feel ? 

But when Don Alvarsawhim thus bruising down the foe. 
Quoth he, "I've seen some flail-armed man belabor 

barley so 
Sure mortal mould did ne'er enfold such mastery of 

power ; 
Let 's call Diego Perez The Pounder, from this hour." 


THE next four ballads relate to the history of Don 
Pedro, King of Castile, called ''The Cruel." 

An ingenious person not long ago published a work, 
the avowed purpose of which was to prove that Tiberius 
was a humane and contemplative prince, who retired to 
the Island of Capreae only that he might the better in- 
dulge in the harmless luxury of philosophic meditation : 
— and, in like manner, Pedro the Cruel has found, in 
these latter times, his defenders and apologists, above 
all, Voltaire. 

There may be traced, without doubt, in the circum- 
stances which attended his accession, something to pal- 
liate the atrocity of several of his bloody acts. His father 
had treated his mother with contempt. He had not only 
entertained, as his mistress, in her lifetime, a lady of the 
powerful family of Guzman, but actually proclaimed that 
lady his queen, and brought up her sons as princes in 

134 tTbe /nSurfeer of tbe /Iftastcr 

his palace ; nay, he had even betrayed some intentions 
of ^dolating, in their favor, the order of succession, and 
the rights of Pedro. And, accordingly, no sooner was 
Alphonso dead, and Pedro acknowledged by the nobility, 
than Leonora de Guzman, and her sons, whether from 
consciousness of guilt, or from fear of violence, or from 
both of these causes, betook themselves to various places 
of strength, where they endeavored to defend themselves 
against the authority of the new king. After a little time, 
matters were accommodated by the interference of friends, 
and Dona Leonora took up her residence at Seville ; but 
Pedro was suddenly, while in that city, seized with a dis- 
temper which his physicians said must, in all probability, 
have a mortal termination ; and during his confinement, 
(which lasted for several weeks) many intrigues were set 
afoot, and the pretensions of various candidates for the 
throne openly canvassed among the nobility of Castile. 

Whether the King had, on his recovery, discovered any 
thing indicative of treasonous intentions in the recent 
conduct of Leonora and her family (which, all things con- 
sidered, seems not improbable), or whether he merely 
suffered himself, as was said at the time, to be over-per- 
suaded by the vindictive arguments of his own mother, 
the queen-dowager, the fact is certain, that in the course 

tibe /Iftur^er of tbe /llbaeter 135 

of a few days, Dona Leonora was arrested, and put to 
death by Pedro's command, in the Castle of Talaveyra. 
Don Fadrique, or Frederick, one of her sons, who had ob- 
tained the dignity of Master of the Order of St. lago, fled 
upon this into Portugal, and fortified himself in the city 
of Coimbra ; while another of them, Don Enrique, or 
Henry, Lord of Trastamara, took refuge at the Court of 
Arragon, openly renouncing his allegiance to the crow^n 
of Castile, and professing himself henceforth, in all 
things, the subject and vassal of the prince who gave him 

Henry of Trastamara was, from this time, the declared 
and active enemy of his brother ; and in consequence of 
his influence, and that of his mother's kindred, but most 
of all, in consequence of Don Pedro's own atrocious pro- 
ceedings, Castile itself was filled w^ith continual tumults 
and insurrections. 

Don Fadrique, however, made his peace wnth Pedro. 
After a lapse of many months, he was invited to come to 
the court at Seville, and take his share in the amusements 
of an approaching tournament. He accepted the invita- 
tion, but was received with terrible coldness, and imme- 
diately executed within the palace. The friends of Pedro 
asserted that the King had that very day detected Don 

136 ^be /nburDer of the Aaetcr 

Fadrique in a correspondence with his brother Henry and 
the Arragonese ; while popular belief attributed the 
slaughter of the Master to the unhappy influence which 
the too-celebrated Maria de Padilla had long ere this be- 
gun to exercise over Pedro's mind. 

Maria was often, in consequence of her close intimacy 
with Jews, called by the name of their hated race ; but she 
was in reality not only of Christian, but of noble descent 
in Spain. However that might be, Pedro found her in the 
family of his minister, Albuquerque, where she had been 
brought up, loved her with all the violence of his temper, 
and made her his w4fe in all things but the name. Al- 
though political motives induced him, not long after- 
wards, to contract an alliance with a princess of the 
French blood royal, — the unfortunate Blanche of Bour- 
bon, — he lived with the young queen but a few days, and 
then deserted her for ever, for the sake of this beautiful, 
jealous, and imperious mistress, whom he declared to be 
his true wife. 

The reader will observe that there is a strange peculi- 
arity in the structure of the ballad which narrates the 
murder of the Master of St. lago. The unfortunate Fad- 
rique is introduced at the beginning of it as telling his 
own story, and so he carries it on, in the first person, 

^be /llburt)cr ot tbe /Iftastcr 


until the order for his execution is pronounced by Pedro. 
The sequel is given as if by another voice. I can suppose 
this singularity to have had a musical origin. 
The Master was slain in the year 1358. 


I SAT alone in Coimbra — the town myself had ta'en, 
When came into my chamber, a messenger from 
Spain ; 
There was no treason in his look, an honest look he 

wore ; 
I from his hand the letter took, — my brother's seal it 

'' Come, brother dear, the day draws near " ('t was thus 

bespoke the King), 
' For plenar court and knightly sport, within the listed 

Alas ! unhappy Master, I easy credence lent ; 
Alas ! for fast and faster I at his bidding went. 

When I set off from Coimbra, and passed the bound of 

I had a goodly company of spearmen in my train ; 
A gallant force, a score of horse, andsturdy mules thirteen ; 
With joyful heart I held my course, — my years were 

young and green. 


XLbc /nbur^et of tbe /iRaster 139 

A journey of good fifteen days within the week was done, 
I halted not, though signs I got, dark tokens many a 

one : 
A strong stream mastered horse and mule, — I lost my 

poniard fine, — 
And left a page within the pool — a faithful page of mine. 

Yet on to proud Seville I rode ; when to the gate I came. 
Before me stood a man of God, to warn me from the same ; 
The words he spake I would not hear, his grief I would 

not see, 
I seek, said I, my brother dear, — I will not stop for thee. 

No lists were closed upon the sand, for royal tourney 

dight ; 
No pawing horse was seen to stand, — I saw no armed 

knight ; 
Yet aye I gave my mule the spur, and hastened through 

the town, 
I stopped before his palace-door, then gayly leapt I down. 

They shut the door, — my trusty score of friends were left 

behind ; 
I would not hear their whispered fear, no harm was in 

my mind. 
I greeted Pedro, but he turned, I wot his look was cold ; 
His brother from his knee he spurned — "Stand off, thou 

Master bold ! 

I40 XLbc /Iftur^er of tbe /llbaster 

" Stand off, stand off, thou traitor strong ! " — 't was thus 

he said to me, 
'' Thy time on earth shall not be long, — what brings thee 

to my knee ? 
My lady craves a new-year's gift, and I will keep my 

word ; 
Th}' head methinks may serve the shift, — Good yeoman, 

draw thy sword ! ' ' 

The Master lay upon the floor ere well that word was said, 
Then in a charger off they bore his pale and bloody head. 
They brought it to Padilla's chair, — they bowed them on 

the knee ; 
''King Pedro greets thee, lady fair, his gift he sends to 


She gazed upon the Master's head, her scorn it could not 

And cruel were the words she said, and proud her glances 

were : — 
"Thou now shalt pay, thou traitor base ! the debt of mau}^ 

a year ; 
My dog shall lick that haughty face ; no more that lip 

shall sneer." 

She seized it by the clotted hair, and o'er the window 

flung ; 
The mastiff smelt it in his lair, forth at her cr)- he sprung. 

^be /nburder of tbe /llbaeter 141 

The mastiff that had crouched so low to lick the Master's 

He tossed the morsel to and fro, and licked it on the sand. 

And ever as the mastiff tore, his bloody teeth were shown, 
With growl and snort he made his sport, and picked it to 

the bone ; 
The baying of the beast was loud, and swiftly on the 

There gathered round a gaping crowd, to see the mastiff 


Then out and spake King Pedro, ''What governance is 

The rabble rout, m}'^ gate without, torment my dogs, I 

Then out and spake King Pedro's page, "It is the 

Master's head ; 
The mastiff tears it in his rage, — therewith they him have 


Then out and spake the ancient nurse, that nursed the 

brothers twain, 
*' On thee, King Pedro, lies the curse, — thy brother thou 

hast slain ; 
A thousand harlots there may be within the realm of 

But where is she can give to thee thy brother back 

again ? " 

142 XLbc /llburDer of tbe /IRaster 

Came darkness o'er King Pedro's brow, when thus he 

heard her say ; 
He sorely rued the accursed vow he had fulfilled that 

He passed unto his paramour, where on her couch she 

Leaning from out her painted bower, to see the mastiff's 


He drew her to a dungeon dark, a dungeon strong and 

deep, — 
'* My father's son lies stiff and stark, and there are few to 

Fadrique's blood for vengeance calls, his cry is in mine 

Thou art the cause, thou harlot false ! in darkness lie thou 



THAT Pedro was accessary to the violent death of this 
young and innocent princess whom he had married, 
and immediately afterwards deserted forever, there can be 
no doubt. This atrocious deed was avenged abundantly ; 
for it certainly led, in the issue, to the downfall and death 
of Pedro himself. Mariana says, very briefly, that the 
injuries sustained by Queen Blanche had so much offended 
many of Pedro's own nobility, that they drew up a for- 
mal remonstrance, and presented it to him in a style 
sufficiently formidable ; and that he, his proud and 
fierce temper being stung to madness by what he con- 
sidered an unjustifiable interference with his domestic 
concerns, immediately gave orders for the poisoning of 
Blanche in her prison. 


144 ^be 2>eatb ot (aueen JBlancbe 

In the old French memoirs of Du Guesclin, a much 
more improbable story is told at great length. The Queen 
Blanche, according to his account, had been banished to 
the Castle of Medina Sidonia, the adjoining territory being 
assigned to her for her maintenance. One of her vassals, 
a Jew, presumed to do his homage in the usual fashion, 
that is, by kissing Blanche on the cheek, ere his true 
character was suspected either by her or her attendants. 
No sooner was the man known to be a Jew, than he was 
driven from the presence of the Queen with every mark of 
insult ; and this sunk so deeply into his mind, that he 
determined to revenge himself, if possible, by the death 
of Blanche. He told his story to Maria de Padilla, who 
prevailed on the King to suffer him to take his own 
measures; and he accordingly surprised the castle by 
night, at the head of a troop of his own countrymen, and 
butchered the unhappy lady. 

The ballad itself is, in all likelihood, as trustworthy 
as any other authority ; the true particulars of such a 
crime were pretty sure to be kept concealed. 


ARIA DE PADIIvLA, be not thus of dismal 


For if I twice have wedded me, it all w^as for thy good 

"But if upon Queen Blanche ye will that I some scorn 

should show, 
For a banner to Medina my messenger shall go. 

''The work shall be of Blanche's tears, of Blanche's 

blood the ground ; 
Such pennon shall they weave for thee, such sacrifice be 

found. ' ' 

Then to the Lord of Ortis, that excellent baron. 
He said, "Now hear me, Ynigo, forthwith for this 

Then answ^er made Don Ynigo : " Such gift I ne'er w411 

For he that harmeth Lady Blanche doth harm my lord 

the King." 


146 Zbc Deatb of (Sixxccn :fiSlancbe 

Then Pedro to his chamber went, his cheek was burning 

And to a bowman of his guard the dark command he said. 

The bowman to Medina passed ; when the Queen beheld 

him near, 
*' Alas ! " she said, " my maidens, he brings my death, I 


Then said the archer, bending low, "The King's com- 
mandment take, 

And see thy soul be ordered w^ell with God that did it 
make, — 

"For lo ! thine hour is come, therefrom no refuge may 

there be." 
Then gently spake the Lady Blanche: "My friend, I 

pardon thee ; 

"Do what thou wilt, so be the King hath his command- 
ment given. 
Deny me not confession, — if so, forgive ye. Heaven ! " 

Much grieved the bowman for her tears, and for her 

beauty's sake, 
While thus Queen Blanche of Bourbon her last complaint 

did make : 

XLbc Beatb of (Slueen JSlancbc 147 

''O France ! my noble country — O blood of high Bour- 
bon ! 

Not eighteen years have I seen out before my life is 

" The King hath never known me. A virgin true I die. 
Whate'er I 've done, to proud Castile no treason e'er 
did I. 

"The crown they put upon my head was a crown of 

blood and sighs : — 
God grant me soon another crown more precious in the 

skies ! " 

These words she spake, then down she knelt, and took 

the bowman's blow ; 
Her tender neck was cut in tw^ain, and out her blood did 



'T^HE reader may remember, that when Don Pedro 
^ had, by his excessive cruelties, quite alienated from 
himself the hearts of the great majority of his people, 
Don Henry of Trastamara, his natural brother, who had 
spent many years in exile, returned suddenly into Spain 
with a formidable band of French auxiliaries, by whose 
aid he drove Pedro out of his kingdom. The voice of the 
nation was on Henry's side, and he took possession of 
the throne without further opposition. 

Pedro, after his treatment of Queen Blanche, could 
have nothing to hope from the crown of France, so he 
immediately threw himself into the arms of England. 
And our Edward the Black Prince, who then command- 
ed in Gascony, had more than one obvious reason for 
taking up his cause. 

The Prince of Wales marched with Don Pedro into 
Spain, at the head of an army of English and Gascon 
veterans, whose disciplined valor, Mariana very frankly 


^be Beatb of 2)on ipebro 149 

confesses, gave theni a decided superiority over the Span- 
ish soldiery of the time. Henry was so unwise as to set 
his stake upon a battle, and was totally defeated in the 
field of Najara. Unable to rally his flying troops, he was 
compelled to make his escape beyond the Pyrenees ; and 
Don Pedro once more established him-self in his kingdom. 
The battle of Najara took place in 1366. 

But, in 1368, when the Black Prince had retired again 
into Gascony, Henry, in his turn, came back from exile 
with a small but gallant army, most of whom were 
French, commanded by the celebrated Bertram du Gleas- 
quin, or, as he is more commonly called, Du Guesclin, — 
and animated, as was natural, by strong thirst of ven- 
geance for the insults, which, in the person of Blanche, 
Pedro had heaped upon the royal line of their country, 
and the blood of Saint Louis. 

Henry of Trastamara advanced into the heart of La 
Mancha, and there encountered Don Pedro, at the head 
of an army six times more numerous than that which he 
commanded, but composed in a great measure of Jews, 
Saracens, and Portuguese, — miscellaneous auxiliaries, 
who gave way before the ardor of the French chivalry, 
so that Henry remained victorious, and Pedro was com- 
pelled to take refuge in the neighboring castle of Mon- 

I50 ZTbe Deatb of Bon peDro 

tiel. That fortress was so strictly blockaded by the 
successful enemy, that the King was compelled to at- 
tempt his escape by night, with only twelve persons in 
his retinue, Ferdinand de Castro being the person of most 
note among them. 

As they wandered in the dark, they were encountered 
by a body of French cavalr\^ making the rounds, com- 
manded by an adventurous knight, called Le Begue de 
Villaines. Compelled to surrender, Don Pedro put him- 
self under the safeguard of this oflB.cer, promising him a 
rich ransom if he would conceal him from the knowledge 
of his brother Henry. The knight, according to Frois- 
sart, promised him concealment, and conveyed him to 
his own quarters. 

But in the course of an hour, Henry was apprised 
that he was taken, and came with some of his followers, 
to the tent of Allan de la Houssaye, where his un- 
fortunate brother had been placed. In entering the 
chamber he exclaimed, ''Where is that whoreson and 
Jew, who calls himself King of Castile?" Pedro, as 
proud and fearless as he was cruel, stepped instantly 
forward and replied: "Here I stand, the lawful son and 
heir of Don Alphonso, and it is thou that art but a false 
bastard." The rival brethren instantly grabbled like 

XLbc Deatb of 2)on ipeDro 151 

lions, the French knights and Du Guesclin himself look- 
ing on. Henry drew his poniard, and wounded Pedro in 
the face, but his body was defended by a coat-of-mail. A 
violent struggle ensued : Henry fell across a bench, and 
his brother being uppermost, had well-nigh mastered 
him, when one of Henry's followers, seizing Don Pedro 
by the leg, turned him over, and his master, thus at 
length gaining the upper-hand, instantly stabbed the 
King to the heart. 

Froissart calls this man the Vicomte de Roquebetyn, 
and others the Bastard of Anisse. Menard, in his history 
of Du Guesclin, says, that while all around gazed like 
statues on the furious struggle of the brothers, Du Guesc- 
lin exclaimed to this attendant of Henry, " What ! will 
you stand by and see your master placed at such a pass 
by a false renegade? — Make forward and aid him, for well 
you may." 

Pedro's head was cut off, and his remains were meanly 
buried. They were afterwards disinterred by his daugh- 
ter, the wife of our own John of Gaunt, ''time-honored 
Lancaster," and deposited in Seville, with the honors due 
to his rank. His memory was regarded with a strange 
mixture of horror and compassion, which recommended 
him as a subject for legend and for romance. He had 

152 tlbe 2)eatb of Bon ipeDro 

caused his innocent wife to be assassinated, — had mur- 
dered three of his brothers, and committed number- 
less cruelties upon his subjects. He had, which the 
age considered equally scandalous, held a close intimacy 
with the Jews and Saracens, and had enriched himself at 
the expense of the Church. Yet, in spite of all these 
crimes, his undaunted bravery and energy of character, 
together with the strange circumstances of his death, ex- 
cited milder feelings towards his memory. 

The following ballad, which describes the death of 
Don Pedro, was translated by a friend (the late Sir Wal- 
ter Scott). It is quoted more than once by Cervantes in 
*'Don Quixote." 


HENRY and King Pedro clasping, 
Hold in straining arms each other ; 
Tugging hard and closely grasping, 

Brother proves his strength with brother. 

Harmless pastime, sport fraternal. 
Blends not thus their limbs in strife ; 

Either aims, with rage infernal, 
Naked dagger, sharpened knife. 


154 ^be Deatb ot Bon peDro 

Close Don Henry grapples Pedro, 
Pedro holds Don Henry strait, 

Breathing, this, triumphant fury. 
That, despair and mortal hate. 

Sole spectator of the struggle. 
Stands Don Henry's page afar. 

In the chase who bore his bugle, 
And who bore his sword in war. 

Down they go in deadly wrestle, 
Down upon the earth they go ; 

Fierce King Pedro has the vantage. 
Stout Don Henry falls below. 

Marking then the fatal crisis, 
Up the page of Henry ran, 

By the waist he caught Don Pedro, 
Aiding thus the fallen man. 

*' King to place, or to depose him, 

Dwelleth not in my desire. 
But the duty which he owes him, 
• To his master pays the squire." 

Now Don Henry has the upmost. 
Now King Pedro lies beneath. 

In his heart his brother's poniard 
Instant finds its bloody sheath. 

XLbc Deatb ot ^on ipeDro 


Thus with mortal gasp and quiver, 
While the blood in bubbles welled, 

Fled the fiercest soul that ever 
In a Christian bosom dwelled. 


HP HE following ballad, taking up the story where it is 
1 left in the preceding one, gives us the proclamation 
and coronation of Don Henry, sumamed, from the cour- 
tesy of his manners, El Cavallero, and the grief of Pe- 
dro's lovely and unhappy mistress, Maria de Padilla. 
From its structure and versification, I have no doubt it is 
of much more modern origin than most of those in the 
first Cancionero. 

The picture which Mariana gives us of Don Pedro, the 
hero of so many atrocious and tragical stories, is to me 
very striking. " He was pale of complexion," says the 
historian ; '' his features were high and well formed, and 
stamped with a certain authority of majesty, his hair red, 
his figure erect, even to stiffness ; he was bold and deter- 
jnined in action and in council ; his bodily frame sank 
under no fatigues, his spirit under no weight of difficulty 
or of danger. He was passionately fond of hawking an4 
all violent exercises. 


XLbc proclamation of Iking IF^cnr^ 157 

" In the beginning of his reign, he administered jus- 
tice among private individuals with perfect integrity. 
But even then were visible in him the rudiments of those 
vices which grew with his age, and finally led him to his 
ruin ; such as a general contempt and scorn of mankind, 
an insulting tongue, a proud and difficult ear, even to 
those of his household. These faults wxre discernible 
even in his tender years ; to them, as he advanced in life, 
were added avarice, dissolution in luxury, an utter hard- 
ness of heart, and a remorseless cruelty." — (Mariana, 
Book xvi., chap. i6.j 

The reader will find almost the whole of Don Pedro's 
history clothed in a strain of glowing and elegant poetry, 
in a performance of the Baron de la Motte Fouque. (See 
his " Bertrand Du Guesclin, historisches ritter-gedicht. " 
— Leipsig, 1822.) 



T the feet of Don Henrique now King Pedro dead is 

Not that Henry's might was greater, but that blood to 
Heaven was crying ; 

Though deep the dagger had its sheath within his broth- 
er's breast, 

Firm on the frozen throat beneath Don Henry's foot is 

So dark and sullen is the glare of Pedro's lifeless eyes, 
Still half he fears what slumbers there to vengeance may 

So stands the brother, — on his brow the mark of blood is 

Yet had he not been Pedro's Cain, his Cain had Pedro 


Close round the scene of cursed strife, the armed knights 

Of either band, with silent thoughts of joyfulness or fear; 


^be iproclamatton ot Iking 1bcm^ 159 

All for a space, in silence, the fratricide survey, — 

Then sudden bursts the mingling voice of triumph and 
dismay ! 

Glad shout on shout from Henry's host ascends unto the 

*' God save King Henry — save the King — King Henry ! " 
is their cry. 

But Pedro's barons clasp their brows, in sadness stand 
they near, 

Whate'er to others he had been, their friend lies mur- 
dered here. 

The deed, say those was justly done, — a tyrant's soul is 

sped ; 
These ban and curse the traitorous blow by which a king 

is dead. 
*' Now see," cries one, " how Heaven's amand asserts the 

people's rights ! " 
Another, " God will judge the hand that God's anointed 

smites ! " 

** The Lord's vicegerent," quoth a priest, '' is sovereign of 

the land, 
And he rebels 'gainst Heaven's behest, that slights his 

King's command ! " 
"Now Heaven be witness, if he sinned," thus speaks a 

gallant young, 
''The fault was in Padilla's eye, that o'er him magic 

flung ;— 

i6o ^be iproclamation ot 1kim 1benr^ 

*' Or if no magic be her blame, so heavenly fair is she, 
The wisest, for so bright a dame, might well a sinner be ; 
Let none speak ill of Pedro, — no Roderick hath he been ! 
He dearly loved fair Spain, although 't is true he slew 
the Queen." 

The words he spake they all might hear, yet none vouch- 
safe reply, — 

'' God save great Henry— save the King — King Henry ! " 
is the cry ; 

While Pedro's liegemen turn aside, their groans are in 
your ear, — 

*' Whate'er to others he hath been, our friend lies slaugh- 
tered here ! " 

Nor paltry souls are wanting among King Pedro's band, 

That, now their king is dead, draw near to kiss his mur- 
derer's hand. 

The false cheek clothes it in a smile, and laughs the hol- 
low eye. 

And wags the traitor tongue the while with flattery's 
ready lie. 

The valor of the King that ts — the justice of his cause — 
The blindness and the tyrannies of him the King that 

waSy — 
All — all are doubled in their speech, yet truth enough is 

To sink the spirit shivering near, in darkness of despair. 

XLbc iproclamation of 1kim 1bcm^ i6i 

The murder of the Master, the tender Infants' doom, 
And blessed Blanche's thread of life snapped short in 

dungeon's gloom, 
With tragedies yet unrevealed, that stained the King's 

By lips his bounty should have sealed, are blazoned black 


Whom served he most at others' cost, most loud they 

rend the sky, 
*' God save great Henry — save our King — King Henry ! " 

is the cry. 
But still, amid too many foes, the grief is in your ear 
Of dead King Pedro's faithful few — '' Alas ! our lord lies 

here ! " 

But others' tears, and others' groans, what are they 

matched with thine, 
Maria de Padilla — thou fatal concubine ! 
Because she is King Henry's slave, the lady weepeth sore, 
Because she 's Pedro's widowed love, alas ! she weepeth 


*' O Pedro, Pedro ! " hear her cry—'* how often did I say 
That wicked counsel and weak trust would haste thy life 

away ! ' ' 
She stands upon her turret-top, she looks down from on 

Where mantled in his bloody cloak she sees her lover lie. 

i62 XLbc iproclamation ot Iking 1benr^ 

Low lies King Pedro in his blood, while bending down 
3'e see 

Caitiffs that trembled ere he spake, crouched at his mur- 
derer's knee ; 

They place the sceptre in his hand, and on his head the 

And trumpets clear are blown, and bells are merry 
through the town. 

The sun shines bright, and the gay rout with clamors 

rend the sky, 
" God save great Henry — save the King — King Henry ! " 

is the cry ; 
But the pale lady weeps above, with many a bitter tear, 
Whate'er he was, he was her love, and he lies slaughtered 

here ! 

At first, in silence down her cheek the drops of sadness 

But rage and anger come to break the sorrow of her 

soul ; 
The triumph of her haters — the gladness of their cries, 
Knkindle flames of ire and scorn within her tearful eyes. 

In her hot cheek the blood mounts high, as she stands 

gazing down. 
Now on proud Henry's royal state, his robe and golden 

crown, — 

Zbc iproclamation of Iking 1bcnv^ 163 



i64 XLbc iproclamation ct 1kin^ 1bent^ 

And now upon the trampled cloak that hides not from 

her view 
The slaughtered Pedro's marble brow, and lips of livid 


With furious grief she twists her hands among her long 

black hairs, 
And all from off her lovely brow the blameless locks she 

tears ; 
She tears the ringlets from her front, and scatters all the 

King Pedro's hand had planted among her raven curls. 

"Stop, caitiff tongues !" — they hear her not — "King 
Pedro's love am I ! " 

They heed her not — " God save the King — great Henry ! '' 
still they cry. 

She rends her hair, she wrings her hands, but none to 
help is near, 

' ' God look in vengeance on their deed, my lord lies mur- 
dered here ! " 

Away she flings her garments, her broidered veil and 

As if they should behold her love within her lovely 

breast, — 
As if to call upon her foes the constant heart to see, 
Where Pedro's form is still enshrined, and evermore 

shall be. 

^be iproclamatlon of Iking 1F3enr^ 165 

But none on fair Maria look, by none her breast is 

seen — 
Save angry Heaven remembering well the murder of the 

The wounds of jealous harlot rage, which virgin blood 

must stanch. 
And all the scorn that mingled in the bitter cup of 


The utter coldness of neglect that haughty spirit stings. 

As if a thousand fiends were there, with all their flapping 
wings ; 

She wraps the veil about her head, as if 't were all a 
dream — 

The love — the murder — and the wrath — and that rebel- 
lious scream. 

For still there 's shouting on the plain, and spurring far 
and nigh, 

'' God save the King — Amen ! amen ! — King Henry ! " is 
the cry ; 

While Pedro all alone is left upon his bloody bier, 

Not one remains to cry to God, " Our lord lies mur- 
dered here ! " 


'T^HE incident to which the following ballad relates, is 
^ supposed to have occurred on the famous field of 
Aljubarrota, where King Juan the First of Castile was de- 
feated by the Portuguese. The King, w^ho was at the 
time in a feeble state of health, exposed himself very 
much during the action ; and being wounded, had great 
difficulty in making his escape. The battle was fought 
A.D. 1385. 

*' Your horse is faint, my King — my Lord ! your gallant 

horse is sick, — 
His limbs are torn, his breast is gored, on his eye the 

film is thick ; 
Mount, mount on mine, oh, mount apace, I pray thee, 

mount and fly ! 
Or in my arms I '11 lift your grace, — their trampling 

hoofs are nigh ! 


tTbe %ov^ ot :©utrago 167 

" My King — my King ! you 're wounded sore, — the blood 

runs from your feet ! 
But only lay a hand before, and I '11 lift you to your seat. 
Mount, Juan, for they gather fast ! I hear their coming cry ! 
Mount, mount, and ride for jeopardy — I '11 save you 

though I die ! 

''Stand, noble steed ! this hour of need — be gentle as a 

I '11 kiss the foam from off thy mouth — thy master dear 

I am ! 
Mount, Juan, mount ! whate'er betide, away the bridle 

And plunge the rowels in his side ! My horse shall save 

my King ! 

"Nay, never speak ; my sires. Lord King, received their 

land from yours. 
And joyfully their blood shall spring, so be it thine 

If I should fly, and thou, my King, be found among the 

How could I stand 'mong gentlemen, such scorn on my 

gray head ? 

"Castile's proud dames shall never point the finger of 

And say — there 's one that ran away when our good lords 

were slain ! — 


G:be XorD of :fiSutra^o 

I leave Diego in your care, — you '11 fill his father's 

place, — 
Strike, strike the spur, and never spare — God's blessing 

on your grace ! " 

So spake the brave Montanez, Butrago's lord was he ; 
And turned him to the coming host in steadfastness and 

He flung himself among them, as they came down the 

hill ; 
He died, God wot ! but not before his sword had drunk 

its fill ! 







THE following little ballad represents the supposed 
feelings of Ferdinand, King of Arragon, on survey- 
ing Naples, after lie had at last obtained possession of 
that city, and driven Rene of Anjou from the south of 
Italy. " The King of Arragon," says Mariana, " entered 
Naples as victor, on the morning of Sunday, the sec- 
ond of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand, 
four hundred and forty -two." 

The brother, whose death is represented as saddening 
the King's triumph, was Don Pedro of Arragon, who was 
killed '*by the fourth rebound of a cannon-ball," very 
soon after the commencement of the siege of Naples. 
''When the King heard of these woful tidings," says 
Mariana, ''he hastened to the place where the body had 
been laid, and kissing the breast of the dead man, said : 
' Alas, my brother, what different things had I expected 
of thee ! God help thy soul ! ' And wath that he wept 


I70 ^be Iking of Brragon 

and groaned, and then turning to his attendants, ' Alas ! ' 
said he, ' my comrades, we have lost this day the flower 
of all our chivalry ! ' Don Pedro died in the bloom of 
his youth, being just twenty-seven years old, and having 
never been married. He had been in many wars, and in 
all of them he had won honor." — (Mariana, Book xxi., 
chap. 13.) 

Who was the favorite boy (Pagezico), whose death the 
King also laments in the ballad, I have not been able to 


ONB day the King of Arragon, from the old citadel 
Looked down upon the sea of Spain, as the billows 
rose and fell. 
He looked on ship and galley, some coming and some 

With all their prize of merchandise, and all their stream- 
ers flowins^. 

Some to Castile were sailing, and some to Barbar^^, — 
And then he looked on Naples, that great city of the 

" O city ! " saith the King, " how great hath been thy 

For thee, I twenty years — my fairest years — have lost ! 

"By thee, I have lost a brother — never Hector was 
more brave ; 

High cavaliers have dropped their tears upon my broth- 
er's grave ; 

Much treasure hast thou cost me, and a little boy beside 

(Alas ! thou woful city !) for whom I would have died." 



" I 'HE marriage of Ferdinand the Catholic, and Doiia 
■* Isabella, having united the forces of Arragon and 
Castile, the total rain of the Moorish power in Spain 
could no longer be deferred. The last considerable frag- 
ment of their once mighty possessions in the Peninsula, 
was Granada ; but the fate of Malaga gave warning of its 
inevitable fall, while internal dissensions, and the weak- 


XLbc IDow of IReDuan 


ness of the reigning prince, hastened and facilitated that 
great object of Ferdinand's ambition. 

The following is a version of certain parts of two bal- 
lads ; indeed, the Moor Reduan is the hero of a great 
many more. The subject is, as the reader will perceive, 
the rash vow and tragical end of a young and gallant sol- 
dier, allied, as it would appear, to the blood of the last 
Moorish King of Granada, Boabdil — or, as he is more 
generally called by the Spanish writers, £1 Rey Chi- 
quito,—i. e., the Little King. 







THUS said, before his lords, the 
King of Reduan : — 
" 'T is easy to get words, — deeds 

get we as we can ; 
Rememberest thou the feast at 

which I heard thee saying, '■-'%[ '^IT fH i 

'T were easy in one night to make -'-^'^^V M/M 
me Lord of Jaen ? 

'' Well, in my mind, I hold the val- 
iant vow was said ; 

Fulfil it, boy ! and gold shall shower 
upon thy head. 

But bid a long farewell, if now thou 
shrink from doing. 

To bower and bonnibell, thy feasting, and thy wooing." 


^be \Dovc ot IRe^uan 


*' I have forgot the oath, if such I e'er 

did plight, — 
But needs there plighted troth to make 

a soldier fight ? 
A thousand sabres bring, — we '11 see 

how we may thrive ! ' ' 
''One thousand!" quoth the King; 

" I trow thou shalt have five ! " 

They passed the Klvira gate, with ban- 
ners all displayed. 

They passed in mickle state, a noble ^ \i}^m 
cavalcade ;— - ^ ' 

What proud and pawing horses, what 
comely cavaliers, 

What bravery of targets, what glitter- '^ 
ing of spears ! 

What caftans blue and scarlet, — what 

turbans pleached of green ; 
What waving of their crescents and 

plumages between ; 
What buskins and what stirrups,— 

what rowels chased in gold ! 
What handsome gentlemen, — what 

buoyant hearts and bold ! 

In midst, above them all, rides he who 

rules the band ; 
Yon feather white and tall is the token 

of command ; 


JL\)C IDow ot 1ReC)uan 

He looks to the Alhambra, whence 
bends his mother down, — 

" Now Alia save my boy, and mer- 
ciful Mahoun !" 

But 't was another sight — when 

Reduan drew near 
To look upon the height where 

Jaen's towers appear ; 
The fosse was wide and deep, the 

walls both tall and strong, 
And keep was matched with keep 

the battlements along. 

It was a heavy sight, — but most for 

Reduan ; 
He sighed, as well he might, ere 

thus his speech began : 

- €^M 

^ ^ ?/'sf **OJaen! had I known how high 

:' .,, ,ir , ,'i.. JfO *^^ bulwarks stand, 

^Vf - My tongue had not outgone the 
.^/ prowess of my hand. 

''But since, in hasty cheer, I did 
my promise plight. 

uV4 (What well might cost a year) to 

^'^ win thee in a night, — 

) The pledge demands the paying. I 
w^ould my soldiers brave 
Were half so sure of Jaen, as I am 

''''"'/ ^^ ^^ grave ! 

tbc IDow of IRe^uan 177 

''My penitence conies late, — my death lags not behind ; 
I yield me up to fate, since hope I may not find ! " 
With that he turned him round ; — " blow your trumpets 

But every spearman frowned, and dark w^as every eye. 

But when he was aw^are that they would fain retreat. 

He spurred his bright bay mare, — I wot her pace was 

He rides beneath the walls, and shakes aloof his lance. 
And to the Christians calls, if any wnll advance ! 

With that an arrow flew from o'er the battlement, — 
Young Reduan it slew, sheer through the breast it went ! 
He fell upon the green, — " Farew^ell, my gallant bay ! " 
Right soon, when this was seen, broke all the Moor array. 


' I 'HK following ballad describes the final departure of 
■*• the weak and unfortunate Boabdil from Granada. 
In point of fact, the Moorish king came out and received 
Ferdinand and Isabella in great form and pomp, at the 
gates of his lost city, presenting them with the keys on 
a cushion, and in abject terms entreating their protection 
for his person. 

The valley of Purchena, in Murcia, was assigned to 
him for his place of residence, and a handsome revenue 
provided for the maintenance of him and his family ; but, 
after a little while, '' not having resolution " (as Mariana 
expresses it) "to endure a private life in the country 
where he had so long reigned a king," he went over to 

The entrance of Ferdinand and Isabella into Granada 
took place on Friday, the 6th of January, 1492. 



THERE was crying in Granada when the sun was 
going down, — 
Some calling on the Trinity — some calling on Mahoun ! 
Here passed away the Koran, — there in the Cross was 

borne, — 
And here was heard the Christian bell, — and there the 
Moorish horn. 

Te Deiun Laicdamiis ! was up the Alcala sung ; 
Down from the Alhambra's minarets were all the cres- 
cents flung ; 
The arms thereon of Arragon they with Castile's display; 
One king comes in in triumph, — one weeping goes away ! 

Thus cried the weeper, while his hands his old white 

beard did tear, 
^* Farewell, farewell, Granada! thou city without peer ! 
Woe, woe, thou pride of Heathendom ! seven hundred 

years and more 
Have gone since first the faithful thy royal sceptre bore ! 


i8o ttbe fflt^bt afrom (Srana5a 

"Thou wert the happy mother of an high renowned 

race ; 
Within thee dwelt a haughty line that now go from their 

place ; 
Within thee fearless knights did dwell, who fought with 

mickle glee — 
The enemies of proud Castile — the bane of Christientie ! 

"The mother of fair dames wert thou, of truth and beauty 

Into whose arms did courteous knights for solace sweet 

repair ; 
For whose dear sakes the gallants of Afric made display 
Of might in joust and battle on many a bloody day ! 

" Here, gallants held it little thing for ladies' sake to die, 
Or for the Prophet's honor, and pride of Soldanry ; — 
For here did valor flourish, and deeds of warlike might 
Ennobled lordly palaces, in which was our delight. 

"The gardens of thy Vega, its fields and blooming 

bowers, — 
Woe, woe ! I see their beauty gone, and scattered all 

their flowers ! 
No reverence can he claim — the King that such a land 

hath lost, — 
On charger never can he ride, nor be heard among the 

host ; 

XLbc ^liQbt ffrom (3ranaba 

But in some dark and dismal place, where ngne liis face 

may see, 
There weeping and lamenting, alone that king should 


Thus spake Granada's King as he w^as riding to the sea. 
About to cross Gibraltar's Strait away to Barbary ; 
Thus he in heaviness of soul unto his Queen did cry 
(He had stopped and ta'en her in his arms, for together 
they did fly). 

''Unhappy King! whose craven soul can brook" (she 

'gan reply) 
"To leave behind Granada, — w^ho hast not heart to die ! 
Now for the love I bore thy youth, thee gladly could I 

slay ! 
For what is life to leave when such a crown is cast away ? " 


nPHE Catholic zeal of Ferdinand and Isabella was grati- 
^ fied by the external conversion at least of a great 
part of the Moors of Granada ; but the inhabitants of the 
Sierra of Alpuxarra, a ridge of mountainous territory- at 
no great distance from that cit}^, resisted every argument 
of the priests who were sent among them, so that the 
royal order for Baptism was at length enforced by arms. 

Those Moorish mountaineers resisted for a time in 
several of their strongholds, but were at last subdued, 
and in great part extirpated. Among many severe losses 
sustained by the Spanish forces in the course of this hill 
warfare, none was more grievous than that recorded in 
the following ballad. Don Alonzo of Aguilar, was the 
elder brother of that Gonsalvo Hernandez y Cordova of 
Aguilar, who became so illustrious as to acquire the 
name of the Great Captain. 

The circumstances of Don Alonzo' s death are described 

^be 5)eatb of Don Blon30 of Bgutlar 183 

somewhat differently b}^ the historians. (See in particu- 
lar Mariana, Book xxvii., chap. 6, where no mention 
is made of the Moors throwing down stones on him 
and his party, as in the ballad.) This tragic story has 
been rendered familiar to all Knglish readers by the 
Bishop of Dromore's exquisite version of '' Rio Verde, 
Rio Verde!" 



FERXAXDO, King of Arragon, before Granada lies, 
With dukes and barons many a one. and champions 
of emprise ; 
With all the captains of Castile that ser^-e his lady's 

He drives Boabdil from his gates, and plucks the cres- 
cent down. 

The cross is reared upon the towers, for our Redeemer's 
sake I 

The King assembles all his powers, his triumph to par- 
take ; 

Yet at the royal banquet, there 's trouble in his eye : — 

" Now speak thy wish, it shall be done, great King I " 
the lordlings en:. 

Then spake Fernando: "Hear, grandees I which of ye 

all will go. 
And give my banner in the breeze of Alpuxar to blow ? 

1 54 

^be Deatb ot 5)on BIon30 ot Bauilar 185 

Those heights along, the Moors are strong ; now who, by- 
dawn of day, 

Will plant the cross their cliffs among, and drive the dogs 
away ? ' ' 

Then champion on champion high, and count on count 

doth look ; 
And faltering is the tongue of lord, and pale the cheek 

of duke, 
Till starts up brave Alonzo, the Knight of Aguilar, 
The lowmost at the royal board, but foremost still in war. 

And thus he speaks : "I pray, my lord, that none but I 

may go; 
For I made promise to the Queen, your consort, long ago, 
That ere the war should have an end, I, for her royal 

And for my duty to her grace, would show some feat of 

arms ! " 

Much joyed the King these words to hear, — he bids 

Alonzo speed ; 
And long before their revel 's o'er the Knight is on his 

steed ; 
Alonzo 's on his milk-white steed, with horsemen in his 

A thousand horse, a chosen band, ere dawn the hills to 


i86 ^be Deatb of Bon Blonso of Bc^uilar 

They ride along the darkling ways, they gallop all the 
night ; 

They reach Nevada ere the cock hath harbingered the 
light ; 

But ere they 've climbed that steep ravine, the east is 
glowing red, 

And the Moors their lances bright have seen, and Chris- 
tian banners spread. 

Beyond the sands, between the rocks, where the old cork- 
trees grow. 

The path is rough, and mounted men must singly march 
and slow. 

There, o'er the path, the heathen range their ambuscado's 

High up they wait for Aguilar, as the day begins to shine. 

There, nought avails the eagle-eye, the guardian of Cas- 

The eye of wisdom, nor the heart that fear might never 

The arm of strength, that wielded well the strong mace 
in the fray, 

Nor the broad plate, from whence the edge of falchion 
glanced away. 

Not knightly valor there avails, nor skill of horse and 

For rock on rock comes rumbling down from cliff and 

cavern drear ; 

^be 5)catb of 2)ou BloujO ot Bguilar 187 



-- •' /-Vt. 


^a_ _ ', 


pi^ -^^3?^, 



^^- . :^ • 



Down — down like driving hail they 
come, and horse and horsemen 
^ Q Like cattle whose despair is dumb when 
the fierce lightnings fly. 

Alonzo, with a handful more, escapes into 

the field, 
There, like a lion, stands at bay, in vain 

besought to yield ; 
A thousand foes around are seen, but none 

draw near to fight ; 
Afar, with bolt and javelin, they pierce 

the steadfast knight. 

A hundred and a hundred darts are hissing 
round his head ; 
Had Aguilar a thousand hearts, their blood had all been 
shed ; 

i88 ^be Beatb ot ^on Blon30 ot Bgutlar 

Faint, and more faint, he staggers upon the slippery sod, 
At last his back is to the earth, he gives his soul to God ! 

With that the Moors plucked up their hearts to gaze upon 

his face, 
And caitiffs mangled where he lay the scourge of Afric's 

To woody Oxijera then the gallant corpse they drew, 
And there, upon the village green, they laid him out to 


Upon the village green he lay, as the moon was shining 

And all the village damsels to look on him drew near ; 
They stood around him all a-gaze, beside the big oak-tree. 
And much his beauty they did praise, though mangled 

sore w^as he. 

Now, so it fell, a Christian dame, that knew Alonzo well, 
Not far from Oxijera did as a captive dw^ell, 
And hearing all the marvels, across the woods came she, 
To look upon this Christian corpse, and wash it decently. 

She looked upon him, and she knew the face of Agnilar, 
Although his beauty w^as disgraced with many a ghastly 

scar ; 
She knew him, and she cursed the dogs that pierced him 

from afar. 
And mangled him when he was slain — the Moors of 


XLbc Bcatb ot Bon nion^o ot Bc^uilar iS 

The Moorish maidens, while she spake, around her 

silence kept. 
But her master dragged the dame away, — then loud and 

long they wept. 
They washed the blood, with man}- a tear, from dint of 

dart and arrow. 
And buried him near the waters clear of the brook of 



T^HE reader is acquainted with the melancholy story^ of 
* Sebastian, King of Portugal. It was in 1578 that 
his unfortunate expedition and death took place. 

The following is a version of one of the Spanish 
ballads, founded on the history of Sebastian. There is 
another, which describes his death, almost in the w^ord^ 
of a ballad already translated, concerning King Juan 1. 
of Castile. 

It was a Lusitanian lady, and she was lofty in degree, 
Was fairer none, nor nobler, in all the realm than she. 
I saw her that her eyes were red, as, from her balcony, 
They wandered o'er the crowded shore and the resplen- 
dent sea. 

Gorgeous and gay, in Lisbon's Bay, with streamers 

flaunting wide, 
Upon the gleaming waters Sebastian's galleys ride ; 
His valorous armada (was never nobler sight !) 
Hath young Sebastian marshalled against the Moorish 



^be Departure ot IRing Sebaetlan 191 

The breeze comes forth from the clear north, a gallant 
breeze there blows ; 

Their sails they lift, then out they drift, and first Sebas- 
tian goes. 

'' May none withstand Sebastian's hand, — God shield my 
King! " she said ; 

Yet pale was that fair lady's cheek, — her weeping eyes 
w^ere red. 

She looks on all the parting host, in all its pomp ar- 

Bach pennon on the wind is tost, each cognizance 
displayed ; 

Bach lordly galley flings abroad, above its armed prow, 

The banner of the Cross of God, upon the breeze to flow. 

But one there is, whose banner, above the Cross divine, 
A scarf upholds, with azure folds, of love and faith the 

Upon that galley's stern ye see a peerless w^arrior stand, 
Though first he goes, still back he throws his eyes upon 

the land. 

Albeit through tears she looks, yet well may she that 

form descry, — 
Was nevfer seen a vassal mien so noble and so high ; 
Albeit the lady's cheek was pale, albeit her eyes were red, 
''May none withstand my true-love's hand ! God bless 

my Knight ! " she said. 

192 ^be departure of Icing Sebaettan 

There are a thousand barons, all harnessed cap-a-pie, 
With helm and spear that glitter clear above the dark- 
green sea ; 
No lack of gold or silver, to stamp each proud device 
Cn shield or surcoat, — nor of chains and jewelry of price. 

The seamen's cheers the lady hears, and mingling voices 

From every deck, of glad rebeck, of trumpet, and of 

'' Who dare withstand Sebastian's hand? — what Moor his 

gage may fling 
At young Sebastian's feet? " she said. — " The Lord hath 

blessed my King. ' ' 



T T is sometimes very difficult to determine which, of the 
^ Moorish ballads ought to be included in the Histori- 
cal, which in the Romantic class ; and for this reason, 
the following five specimens are placed by themselves. 
Several ballads decidedly of Moorish origin, such as 
" Reduan's Vow," " The Flight from Granada," etc., have 
been printed in the preceding section. 



/^"^ AZUL is the name of one of the Moorish heroes who 
^-^ figure in the " Historia de las Guerras Civiles de 
Granada." The following ballad is one of very many in 
which the dexterity of the Moorish cavaliers in the bull- 
fight is described. The reader will observe, that the shape, 
activity, and resolution of the unhappy animal, destined 
to furnish the amusement of the spectators, are enlarged 
upon, — just as the qualities of a modern race-horse might 
be among ourselves ; nor is the bull without his name. 
The day of the Baptist is a festival among the Mussul- 
mans, as well as among Christians. 



KING AIvMANZOR, of Granada, he hath bid the 
trumpet sound, 
He hath summoned all the Moorish lords, from the hills 

and plaiijs around ; 
From Vega and Sierra, from Betis and Xenil, 
They have come with helm and cuirass of gold and 
twisted steel. 

'T is the holy Baptist's feast they hold in royalty and 

And they have closed the spacious lists, beside the Al- 

hambra's gate. 
In gowns of black with silver laced, within the tented 

Bight Moors to fight the bull are placed, in presence of 

the King. 

Eight Moorish lords of valor tried, with stalwart arm 

and true, 
The onset of the beasts abide, as they come rushing 



^be JBulUJ^igbt ot Gasul 




iq8 trbe :fiSul(=3Figbt of Gasul 

The deeds they 've done, the spoils they 've won, fill all 

with hope and trust, 
Yet, ere high in heaven appears the sun, they all have 
bit the dust ! 

Then sounds the trumpet clearly, then clangs the loud 

Make room, make room for Gazul ! — throw wide, throw 

wide the door ! 
Blow, blow the trumpet clearer still ! more loudly strike 

the drum ! 
The Alcayde of Algava to fight the bull doth come. 

And first before the King he passed, with reverence 

stooping low. 
And next he bowed him to the Queen, and the Infantas 

all a-rowe ; 
Then to his lady's grace he turned, and she to him did 

A scarf from out her balcony was whiter than the snow. 

With the life-blood of the slaughtered lords all slippery 

is the sand, 
Yet proudly in the centre hath Gazul ta'en his stand ; 
And ladies look with heaving breast, and lords with 

anxious eye. 
But firmly he extends his arm, — his look is calm and 


Zbc :fiSull^J'ic;bt of (3a3ul 199 

Three bulls against the Knight are loosed, and two come 

roaring on, 
He rises high in stirrup, forth stretching his rejon ; 
Kach furious beast upon the breast he deals him such a 

He blindly totters and gives back across the sand to go. 

"Turn, Gazul — turn !" the people cry ; the third comes 

up behind. 
Low to the sand his head holds he, his nostrils snuff the 

The mountaineers that lead the steers without stand 

whispering low, 
" Now thinks this proud Alcayde to stun Harpado so ? " 

From Guadiana comes he not, he comes not from Xenil, 

From Gaudalarif of the plain, or Barves of the hill ; 

But where from out the forest burst Xarama's waters 

Beneath the oak-trees was he nursed, — this proud and 

stately steer. 

Dark is his hide on either side, but the blood within doth 

And the dun hide glows, as if on fire, as he paws to the 

His eyes are jet, and they are set in crystal rings of snow ; 
But now they stare with one red glare of brass upon the 


200 ^be JSuIl^ffigbt of Ga^ul 

upon the forehead of the bull the horns stand close and 

F'rom out the broad and wrinkled skull like daggers they 

appear ; 
His neck is massy, like the trunk of some old knotted 

\Vhereon the monster's shagged mane, like billows 

ciirled, ye see. 

His legs are short, his hams are thick, his hoofs are black 

as night, 
Like a strong flail he holds his tail in fierceness of his 

might ; 
Like something molten out of iron, or hewn from forth 

the rock, 
Harpado of Xarania stands, to bide the Alcayde's shock. 

Now stops the drum ; close, close they come ; thrice 

meet, and thrice give back ; 
The white foam of Harpado lies on the charger's breast 

of black, — 
The white foam of the charger on Harpado 's front of 

Once more advance upon his lance — once more, thou 

fearless one ! 

Once more, once more ! — in dust and gore to ruin must 

thou reel ! 
In vain, in vain thou tearest the sand with furious heel ! 

Zbc :fiSull=fftc;bt ot OajUl 201 

In vain, in vain, thou noble beast ! — I see, I see thee 

Now keen and cold thy neck must hold the stern Al- 

cayde's dagger ! 

They have slipped a noose around his feet, six horses are 

brought in. 
And away they drag Harpado with a loud and joyful din. 
Now stoop thee, lady, from thy stand, and the ring of 

price bestow 
Upon Gazul of Algava, that hath laid Harpado low ! 


THE reader cannot need to be reminded of the fatal 
effects which were produced by the feuds subsist- 
ing between the two great families, or rather races, of the 
Zegris and the Abencerrages of Granada. The following 
ballad is also from the " Guerras Civiles." 

Of all the blood of Zegri, the chief is Lisaro, 
To wield rejon like him is none, or javelin to throw ; 
From the place of his dominion, he ere the dawn doth go, 
From Alcala de Henares, he rides in weed of woe. 

He rides not now as he was wont, when ye have seen him 

To the field of gay Toledo, to fling his lusty reed ; 
No gambeson of silk is on, nor rich embroidery 
Of gold-wrought robe or turban, nor jewelled tahali. 

No amethyst nor garnet is shining on his brow, 
No crimson sleeve, which damsels weave at Tunis, decks 
him now. 


Zbc XcQvVs JSriOe 203 

The belt is black, the hilt is dim, but the sheathed blade 

is bright ; 
They have housened his barb in a murky garb, but yet 

her hoofs are light. 

Four horsemen good, of the Zegri blood, with Lisaro go 

out ; 
No flashing spear may tell them near, but yet their shafts 

are stout. 
In darkness and in swiftness rides every armed knight, — 
The foam on the rein ye may see it plain, but nothing 

else is white. 

Young Lisaro, as on they go, his bonnet doffeth he, 
Between its folds a sprig it holds of a dark and glossy 

That sprig of bay, were it away, right heavy heart had 

Fair Zayda to her Zegri gave that token privily. 

And ever as they rode, he looked upon his lady's boon. 
*' God knows," quoth he, " what fate may be ! — I maybe 

slaughtered soon ; 
Thou still art mine, though scarce the sign of hope that 

bloomed w^hilere, 
But in my grave I yet shall have my Zayda's token 

dear, ' ' 


^be ^cgvVs :Bv\^c 

Young Lisaro was musing so, when onwards on the path, 
He well could see them riding slow ; then pricked he in 

his wrath. 
The raging sire, the kinsmen of Zayda's hateful house, 
Fought well that day, yet in the fray the Zegri won his 




HB following ballad has been often imitated by 
modern poets, both in Spain and in Germany : 

" Pon te a las rejas azules, dexa la manga que labras, 
Melancholica Xarifa, veras al galan Andalla," etc. 

" Rise up, rise up, Xarifa ! lay the golden cushion 
down ; 

Rise up, come to the window, and gaze with all the 
town ! 

From gay guitar and violin the silver notes are flowing. 

And the lovely lute doth speak between the trumpet's 
lordly blowing. 

And banners bright from lattice light are waving every- 

And the tall tall plume of our cousin's bridegroom floats 
proudly in the air. 

Rise up, rise up, Xarifa ! lay the golden cushion down ; 

Rise up, come to the window, and gaze with all the 
town ! 

''Arise, arise, Xarifa ! I see Andalla's face, — 
He bends him to the people with a calm and princely 
grace ; 


2o6 XLbc JSri^al of BnDalla 

Through all the land of Xeres and banks of Guadal- 

Rode forth bridegroom so brave as he, so brave and 
lovely never. 

Yon tall plume waving o'er his brow, of purple mixed 
with white, 

I guess 't was wreathed by Zara, whom he will wed to- 

Rise up, rise up, Xarifa ! lay the golden cushion down ; 

Rise up, come to the window, and gaze w^ith all the 
town ! 

"What aileth thee, Xarifa — what makes thine eyes look 

down ? 
Why stay ye from the window far, nor gaze with all the 

town ? 
I 've heard you say on many a day, and sure you said the 

Andalla rides without a peer, among all Granada's 

Without a peer he rideth, and yon milk-white horse 

doth go 
Beneath his stately master, with a stately step and 

Then rise, — oh ! rise, Xarifa, lay the golden cushion 

down ; 
Unseen here through the lattice, you may gaze with all 

the town ! " 

Zbc :fiSnDal of Bndalla 



Cbe JSriOal oi BnDalla 

The Zegri lady rose not, nor laid her cushion down, 

Nor came she to the window to gaze with all the town ; 

But though her eyes dwelt on her knee, in vain her fin- 
gers strove. 

And though her needle pressed the silk, no flower Xarifa 

One bonny rosebud she had traced, before the noise 
drew nigh ; 

That bonny bud a tear effaced, slow drooping from her 

"No — no I " she sighs, — "bid me not rise, nor lay m}^ 
cushion down, 

To gaze upon Andalla with all the gazing town ! " 

'* Why rise ye not, Xarifa — nor lay your cushion down ? 
Why gaze ye not, Xarifa — with all the gazing town ? 
Hear, hear the trumpet how it swells, and how the people 

en.- 1 
He steps at Zara's palace-gate — why sit you still — oh, 

— '*At Zara's gate stops Zara's mate: in him shall I 

The dark-eyed youth pledged me his truth with tears, 

and was my lover ; 
I will not rise, with weary eyes, nor lay my cushion 

To gaze on false Andalla with all the gazing town ! " 





" /\ A ^" ear-rings ! my ear-rings ; they 've dropped into 
iVi the well, 

And what to say to Muca, I cannot, cannot tell I '' — 

'T was thus, Granada's fountain by, spoke Albuharez' 
daughter — 

'' The well is deep, — far down they lie, beneath the cold 
blue water ; 

To me did Muca give them, when he spake his sad fare- 

And what to say when he comes back, alas I I cannot 


210 2^ara'6 JBnv^HRinQB 

^' My ear-rings ! my ear-rings! — they were pearls, in sil- 
ver set, 

That, when my Moor was far away, I ne'er should him 
forget ; 

That I ne'er to other tongue should list, nor smile on 
other's tale, 

But remember he my lips had kissed, pure as those ear- 
rings pale. 

When he comes back, and hears that I have dropped 
them in the well, 

Oh ! what will Muga think of me ! — I cannot, cannot tell ! 

**My ear-rings! my ear-rings! — he'll say they should 

have been. 
Not of pearl and of silver, but of gold and glittering 

Of jasper and of onyx, and of diamonds shining clear, 
Changing to the changing light, with radiance insincere ; 
That changeful mind unchanging gems are not befitting 

well ; 
Thus will he think, — and what to say, alas ! I cannot tell. 

*^ He '11 think, when I to market went, I loitered by the 

way ; 
He '11 think, a willing ear I lent to all the lads might say ; 
He '11 think, some other lover's hand, among my tresses 

From the ears where he had placed them my rings of 

pearl unloosed. 

2^ata^6 j£av^1RingB 

He '11 think, when I was sporting so beside this marble 

My pearls fell in, — and what to say, alas ! I cannot tell. 

" He '11 say, I am a woman, and we are all the same ; 
He '11 say, I loved, when he was here, to whisper of his 

flame, — 
But, when he went to Tunis, my virgin troth had broken. 
And thought no more of Muga, and cared not for his 

My ear-rings ! my ear-rings : oh ! luckless, luckless well, 
For what to say to Mu^a, — alas ! I cannot tell. 

" I'll tell the truth to Mu^a, — and I hope he will be- 
lieve — 

That I thought of him at morning, and thought of him 
at eve : 

That, musing on my lover, when down the sun was gone, 

His ear-rings in my hand I held, by the fountain all 
alone ; 

And that my mind was o'er the sea, when from my hand 
they fell, 

And that deep his love lies in my heart, as they lie in 
the well !" 



T the gate of old Granada, when all its bolts are 

At twilight, at the Vega gate, there is a trampling heard ; 
There is a trampling heard, as of horses treading slow, 
And a weeping voice of women, and a heavy sound of 

woe ! 
" What tower is fallen, what star is set, what chief come 

these bewailing?" 
" A tower is fallen, a star is set I — Alas ! alas for Celin ! " 

Three times they knock, three times they cry, — and wide 
the doors they throw ; 

Dejectedly they enter, and mournfully they go ; 

In gloomy lines they mustering stand, beneath the hol- 
low porch, 

Each horseman grasping in his hand a black and flam- 
ing torch ; 

Wet is each eye as they go b}-, and all around is wailing, 

For all have heard the miser}-. — " Alas ! alas for Celin ! " 

Him, yesterday, a Moor did slay, of Bencerraje's blood, — 
*T was at the solemn jousting — around the nobles stood ; 


<~-~ 7 , i. <r '- > -. 



214 ^be Xamentation for Celin 

The nobles of the land vrere by, and ladies bright and 

Looked from their latticed windows, the haughty sight 

to share ; 
But now the nobles all lament — the ladies are bewailing — 
For he was Granada's darling knight. — "Alas ! alas for 


Before him ride his vassals, in order two by two, 
With ashes on their turbans spread, most pitiful to view ; 
Behind him his four sisters, each wrapped in sable veil, 
Between the tambour's dismal strokes take up their dole- 
ful tale ; 
When stops the muffled drum, ye hear their brotherless 

And all the people, far and near, cry — "x\las ! alas for 

Oh ! lovely lies he on the bier, above the purple pall, 
The flower of all Granada's youth, the loveliest of them 

His dark, dark eyes are closed, his rosy lip is pale. 
The crust of blood lies black and dim upon his burnished 

mail ; 
And evermore the hoarse tambour breaks in upon their 

Its sound is like no earthly sound — " Alas ! alas for 

Celin ! " i 

XLbc !ILamentation tor Cclin 215 

The Moorish maid at the lattice stands, — the Moor stands 

at his door ; 
One maid is wringing of her hands, and one is weeping 

sore ; 
Dow^n to the dust men bow their heads, and ashes black 

they strew^ 
Upon their broidered garments, of crimson, green, and 

Before each gate the bier stands still, — then bursts the 

loud bew^ailing. 
From door and lattice, high and low — "Alas! alas for 

Celin ! " 

An old, old woman cometh forth, when she hears the 

people crv', — 
Her hair is white as silver, like horn her glazed eye : 
'T was she that nursed him at her breast, — that nursed 

him long ago ; 
She knows not whom they all lament, but soon she well 

shall knew^ ! 
With one deep shriek, she thro' doth break, when her 

ears receive their wailing — 
" Let me kiss my Celin ere I die— Alas ! alas for Celin ! '* 





IN the following version, I have taken liberty to omit 
many of the introductory stanzas of the famous "Co- 
plas de Calainos." The reader will remember that this 
ballad is alluded to in "Don Quixote, " where the Knight's 
nocturnal visit to Toboso is described. It is generally be- 
lieved to be among the most ancient, and certainly was 
among the most popular, of all the ballads in the 

"I HAD six Moorish nurses, but the seventh was not a 

The Moors they gave me milk enow, but the Christian 

gave me lore ; 
And she told me ne'er to listen, though sweet the words 

might be. 
Till he that spake had proved his troth, and pledged a 

gallant fee." 

" Fair damsel," quoth Calaynos, " if thou wilt go with me, 
Say what may win thy favor, and mine that gift shall be : 


Sbe /Hboor Cala^no6 

Fair stands the castle on the rock, the city in the vale, 
And bonny is the red, red gold, and rich the silver pale." 

'* Fair sir," quoth she, " virginity I never will lay down 
For gold, nor 3^et for silver, for castle, nor for town ; 
But I will be your leman for the heads of certain peers ; 
And I ask but three — Rinaldo's, Roland's andOlivier's." 

He kissed her hand where she did stand, he kissed her 

lips also. 
And " Bring forth," he cries, '' my pennon, for to Paris I 

must go ! " 
I wot ye saw them rearing his banner broad right soon. 
Whereon revealed his bloody field its pale and crescent 


That broad bannere the Moor did rear, ere many days 

were gone, 
In foul disdain of Charlemagne, by the church of good 

Saint John ; 
In the midst of stately Paris, on the royal banks of Seine. 
Shall never scornful Paynim that pennon rear again. 

His banner he hath planted high, and loud his trumpet 

That all the twelve might hear it well around King 

Charles throne ; 

Zbc /IRoor Cala^no6 

The note he blew right well they knew ; both paladin and 

Had the trumpet heard of that stern lord in many a fierce 


It chanced the King, that fair morning, to the chase had 

made him bowne. 
With many a knight of warlike might, and prince of high 

renown : 
Sir Reynold of Montalban, and Claros' lord, Gaston, 
Behind him rode, and Bertram good, that reverend old 


Black D' Ardennes' eye of master^^ in that proud troop 

was seen. 
And there was Urgel's giant force, and Guarinos' princely 

mien ; 
Gallant and gay upon that day was Baldwin's youthful 

But first did ride, by Charles side, Roland and Olivier. 

Now in a ring, around the King, not far in the green- 

Awaiting all the huntsman's call, it chanced the nobles 

" Now list, mine earls, now list ! " quoth Charles, "yon 
breeze will come again, — 

Some trumpet-note methinks doth float from the fair 
bank of Seine." 

222 trbe /iftoor Cala^nos 

He scarce had heard the trumpet, the \^'ord he scarce had 

When among the trees he near him sees a dark and tur- 

baned head ; 
''Now stand, now stand at my command, bold Moor ! " 

quoth Charlemagne ; 
'' That turban green, how dare it be seen among the 

woods of Seine? " 

"My turban green must needs be seen among the woods 
of Seine," 

The Moor replied, '' since here I ride in quest of Charle- 
magne ; 

For I serve the Moor Calaynos, and I his defiance bring 

To every lord that sits at the board of Charlemagne your 

" Now lordlings fair, if anywhere in the wood ye 've seen 

him riding. 
Oh, tell me plain the path he has ta'en, — there is no 

cause for chiding ; 
For my lord hath blown his trumpet by every gate of Paris, 
Long hours in vain by the bank of Seine, upon his steed 

he tarries." — 

When the Kmperor had heard the Moor, full red was his 

old cheek : 
" Go back, base cur, upon the spur, for I am he you 

seek : — 

Zbc /Iftoor Cala^nos -^ 223 

Go back, and tell your master to commend him to Ma- 

For his soul shall d\Yell with him in hell, or ere yon sun 

go down ! 

"Mine arm is weak, my hairs are gray" (thus spake 
King Charlemagne), 

'' Would for one hour I had the power of my young days 
again ; 

As when I plucked the Saxon from out his mountain-den. 

Oh, soon should cease the vaunting of this proud Sara- 
cen ! 

" Though now mine arm be weakened, though now my 

hairs be gray. 
The hard-won praise of other days cannot be swept 

away ; 
If shame there be, my liegemen, the shame on you must 

lie ; 
Go forth, go forth, good Roland ; to-night this Moor must 

die ! " 

Then out and spake rough Roland — ''Ofttimes I 've 

thinned the ranks 
Of the hot Moor, and when 't waso'er have won me little 

thanks ; 
Some carpet knight will take delight to do this doughty 

Whom damsels gay shall well repay with smiles and 

whispers sweet ! " 

224 tlbe /Ifeoor Calai^nos 

Then out and spake Sir Baldwin — the youngest peer was 

The youngest and the comeliest, — "Let none go forth but 

me ; 
Sir Roland is mine uncle, and he may in safety jeer, 
But I will show, the youngest may be Sir Roland's peer." 

" Nay, go not thou," quoth Charlemagne, '* thou art my 

gallant youth, 
And braver none I look upon ; but thy cheek it is too 

smooth ; 
And the curls upon thy forehead they are too glossy 

bright ; 
Some elder peer must couch his spear against this crafty 


But away, away goes Baldwin, no w^ords can stop him 
now ; 

Behind him lies the greenwood, he has gained the moun- 
tain's brow ; 

He reineth first his charger, within the churchyard green. 

Where, striding slow the elms below, the haughty Moor 
is seen. 

Then out and spake Calaynos, — "Fair youth, I greet thee 

well ; 
Thou art a comely stripling, and if thou with me wilt 


Zbc /Hboor Calai2no6 225 

All for the grace of thy sweet face, thou shalt not lack 

thy fee, 
Within my lady's chamber a pretty page thou 'It be." — 

An angr\^ man was Baldwin, w^hen thus he heard him 

speak : 
*' Proud knight," quoth he, " I come with thee a bloody 

spear to break ! " 
Oh, sternly smiled Calaynos, when thus he heard him 

say : 
Oh, loudly as he mounted his mailed barb did neigh. 

One shout, one thrust, and in the dust young Baldwin 

lies full low ; 
No youthful knight could bear the might of that fierce 

warrior's blow ; 
Calaynos draws his falchion, and waves it to and fro : 
" Thy name now say, and for mercy pray, or to hell thy 

soul must go ! " 

The helpless youth revealed the truth : then said the 

conqueror, — 
" I spare thee for thy tender years, and for thy great 

valor ; 
But thou must rest thee captive here, and serve me on 

thy knee. 
For fain I 'd tempt some doughtier peer to come and 

rescue thee." — ■ 

226 Zbc /nboor Calav)no6 

Sir Roland heard that haughty word (he stood behind the 

wall) ; 
His heart, I trow, was heavy enow, when he saw his 

kinsman fall ; 
But now^ his heart was burning, and never word he said. 
But clasped his buckler on his arm, his helmet on his 


Another sight saw the Moorish knight, when Roland 

blew his horn. 
To call him to the combat in anger and in scorn ; 
All cased in steel from head to heel, in the stirrup high 

he stood, 
The long spear quivered in his hand, as if athirst for blood. 

Then out and spake Calaynos, — ''Thy name I fain would 

hear ; 
A coronet on thy helm is set ; I guess thou art a peer." — 
vSir Roland lifted up his horn, and blew another blast ; 
"No words, base Moor ! " quoth Roland, " this hour shall 

be thy last ! " 

I wot they met full swiftly, I wot the shock was rude ; 
Down fell the misbeliever, and o'er him Roland vStoo^ ; 
Close to his throat the steel he brought, and plucked his 

beard full sore : 
"What devil brought thee hither? — speak out or die, 

false ]Moor ! " 

^be /nboor Cala^nos 


" Oh ! I serve a noble damsel, a haughty maid of Spain, 
And in evil day I took my way, that I her grace might 

gain ; 
For every gift I offered my lady did disdain. 
And craved the ears of certain peers that ride with 


Then loudly laughed rough Roland : — '' Full few wdll be 

her tears, 
It was not love her soul did move, who bade thee beard 

THE PEERS : ' ' 
With that he smote upon his throat, and spurned his 

crest in twain ; 
"No more," he cries "this moon will rise above the 

woods of Seine ! " 


THE stor}' of Gayfer de Bourdeaux is to be found at 
great length in the " Romantic Chronicle of Charle- 
magne "; and it has supplied the Spanish minstrels with 
subjects for a long series of ballads. In that which 
follows, Gayferos, yet a boy, is represented as hearing 
from his mother the circumstances of his father's death ; 
and as narrow!}' escaping with his own life, in conse- 
quence of his stepfather. Count Galvan's cruelty. 

There is another ballad which represents Gayferos, 
now grown to be a man, as coming in the disguise of a 
pilgrim to his mother's house, and slaying his stepfather 
wnth his own hand. The Countess is only satisfied as to 
his identity b}' the circumstance of the finger : 

" El dedo bien es aqueste, aqui lo vereys faltar 
La condesa que esto oyera enipezole de abra^ar.' 



BBFORB lier knee the boy did stand, within the dais 
so fair, 
The golden shears were in her hand, to clip his curled 

hair ; 
And ever, as she clipped the curls, such doleful w^ords she 

That tears ran from Gayferos' eyes, for his sad mother's 

'' God grant a beard were on thy face, and strength thine 

arm within, 
To fling a spear, or swing a mace, like Roland Paladin ! 
For then, I think, thou wouldst avenge thy father that is 

Whom envious traitors slaughtered within thy mother's 

bed ; 

" Their bridal gifts were rich and rare, that hate might 

not be seen ; 
They cut me garments broad and fair — none fairer hath 

the Queen." 


230 trbe :e6cape ot Ga^feros 

Then out and spake the little boy — " Each night to God 

I call, 
And to his blessed Mother, to make me strong and 


The Count he heard Gayferos, in the palace where he lay : 
" Now silence, silence, Countess ! it is falsehood that you 

say ; 
I neither sle\Y the man, nor hired another's sword to 

slay ; 
But, that the mother hath desired, be sure the so'n shall 


The Count called to his esquires (old followers were 

Whom the dead lord had nurtured for many a merry 

day) ; 
He bade them take their old lord's heir, and stop his 

tender breath ; 
Alas I 't was piteous but to hear the manner of that death. 

''List, esquires, list, for my command is offspring of 

mine oath, 
The stirrup-foot and the hilt-hand see that ye sunder 

both ; 
That ye cut out his eyes 't were best — the safer he will 


And bring a finger and the heart, that I his end may 

tibe :iE6cape of Ga^tcvoB 231 

The esquires took the little boy aside with them to go ; 

Yet, as they went, they did repent — " O God ! must this 
be so, 

How shall we think to look for grace, if this poor child 
we slay, 

When ranged before Christ Jesu's face at the great judg- 
ment day? " 

While they, not knowing what to do, were standing in 

such talk. 
The Countess' little lap-dog bitch by chance did cross 

their walk ; 
Then out and spake one of the 'squires (you may hear 

the w^ords he said), 
" I think the coming of this bitch may serve us in good 

stead : 

" Let us take out the bitch's heart, and give it to 

Galvan ; 
The boy may with a finger part, and be no worser 

man." — 
With that they cut the joint away, and whispered in his 

That he must wander many a day, nor once those parts 

come near. 

"Your uncle grace and love wall show; he is a boun- 
teous man." 

And so they let Gayferos go, and turned them to 
Galvan ; 

232 ^bc J66cape of Oa^tcvoB 

The heart and the small finger upon the board they laid, 
And of Gayferos' slaughter a cunning story made. 

The Countess, when she hears them, in great grief 

loudly cries : 
Meantime the stripling safely unto his uncle hies : — 
" Now welcome, my fair boy," he said, " what good news 

may they be 
Come with thee to thine uncle's hall ? " — " Sad tidings 

come with me : — 

"The false Galvan had laid his plan to have me in my 

grave : 
But I 've escaped him, and am here, my boon from thee 

to crave : 
Rise up, rise up, mine uncle, thy brother's blood they 've 

shed ! 
Rise up — they 've slain my father within my mother's 





THE following is a versiou of another of the ballads 
concerning Gayferos. It is the same that is quoted 
in the chapter of the Puppet-show in "Don Quixote." 
" Xow. sirs, he that you see there a-horseback, wrapt up 
in the Gascoign-cloak, is Don Gayferos himself, whom 
his wife, now revenged on the Moor for his impudence, 
seeing from the battlements of the tower, takes him for 
a stranger, and talks with him as such, according to the 
ballad : 

'' Quoth Meliseudra. if perchance. 
Sir Traveller, you go for France,'' etc. 

The place of the lady's capti\-ity was Saragossa, anciently 




T Sansuena, in the tower, fair 
Meliseudra lies, 
Her heart is far away in France, 
and tears are in her eyes ; 
The twilight shade is thickening laid on 
Sansuena's plain, 
ristfullv the ladv her wearv eves doth strain. 

She gazes from the dungeon strong, forth on the road to 

Weeping, and wondering why so long her lord Gayferos 

tarries ; 


/Ifteltscn^ra 235 

When lo ! a knight appears in view 

— a knight of Christian mien : 
Upon a milk-white charger he rides ^-^-:r-\ 

the elms between. 

She from her window reaches forth l, 

her hand a sign to make ; 
" Oh, if you be a knight of w^orth, 3 

draw near for mercy's sake ; f — - 

For mercy and sweet charity, draw 

near, Sir Knight to me, : 

And tell me if ye ride to France, or 

whither bowne 3'e be. 

"Oh, if ye be a Christian knight, 

and if to France you go, 
I pray thee tell Gayferos that you f'^ 

have seen my woe ; 
That you have seen me w^eeping, 

here in the Moorish tower, 
While he is gay by night and day, ; ^m 

in hall and lady's bower. . - J^^ 

" Seven summers have I waited — jl ^ 

seven winters long are spent : , /;j| ,^, ~ .^, 

Yet word of comfort none he speaks, ' T ' ' ^^'^ 
nor token hath he sent ; 

236 /IRelisenDra 

And if he is weary of iny love, and would have me wed a 

Still say his love is true to him — nor time nor wrong can 

change her ! " 

The Knight on stirrup rising, bids her wipe her tears 

away : 
" My love, no time for weeping, no peril save dela}- ; 
Come, boldly spring, and lightl}' leap, — no listening 

Moor is near us. 
And by dawn of day we '11 be far away : '' — so spake the 

knight Gayferos. 

She hath made the sign of the Cross divine, and an Ave 

she hath said, 
And she dares the leap both wide and deep — that lady 

without dread ; 
And he hath kissed her pale, pale cheek, and lifted her 

behind : 
Saint Denis speed the milk-white steed ! — no Moor their 

path shall find. 

V - -^^C%- ^ 


HE following is an attempt to render one of the most 
admired of all the vSpanish ballads. 

" En Paris esta Dona Alda, la esposa de Don Roldan, 
Trecientas damas con ella, para la accompanar, 
Todas visten un vestido, todas caiman un cal^ar," etc. 

In its whole structure and strain, it bears a very remark- 
able resemblance to several of our own old ballads, both 
English and Scottish. 

In Paris sits the lady that shall be Sir Roland's bride, 
Three hundred damsels with her, her bidding to abide ; 


2-8 XaD^ Bl^a's 5)ream 

All clothed in the same fashion, both the mantle and the 

All eating at one table, within her hall at noon : 
All, save the Lady Alda, she is lady of them all, — 
She keeps her place upon the dais, and they ser^'e her in 

her hall ; 
The thread of gold a hundred spin, the lawn a hundred 

And a hundred play sweet melod}' within Alda's bower at 


With the sound of their sweet playing, the lady falls 

And she dreams a doleful dream, and her damsels hear 

her weep : 
There is sorrow in her slumber, and she waketh with a 

And she calleth for her damsels, and swifth' they come 

'* Now, what is it. Lady Alda " — (you may hear the 

words they say) — 
" Bringeth sorrow to thy pillow, and chaseth sleep 

away ? ' ' 
" Oh, my maidens ! " quoth the lady, '' my heart it is full 

sore ! 
I have dreamt a dream of evil, and can slumber never 

more ! 

%at>^ Bl5a'6 Bream 239 

' ' For I was upon a mountain, in a bare and desert place, 
x\nd I saw a mighty eagle, and a falcon he did chase ; 
And to me the falcon came, and I hid it in my breast ; 
But the mighty bird, pursuing, came and rent away my 

vest ; 
And he scattered all the feathers, and blood was on his 

And ever, as he tore and tore, I heard the falcon shriek. 
Now read my vision, damsels, — now read my dream to 

For my heart may well be heavy that doleful sight to 

Out spake the foremost damsel was in her chamber there — 
(You may hear the vrords she says) — "Oh! my lady's 

dream is fair 
The mountain is St. Denis' choir, and thou the falcon art ; 
And the eagle strong that teareth the garment from thy 

And scattereth the feathers, he is the Paladin, 
That, when again he comes from Spain, must sleep thy 

bower within. 
Then be blythe of cheer, my lady, for the dream thou 

must not grieve. 
It means but that thy bridegroom shall come to thee at 


" If thou hast read my vision, and read it cunningly," 
Thus said the Lady Alda, " thou shalt not lack thy fee." 


XaD^ BlDa'0 Bream 

But woe is me for Alda ! there was heard, at morning 

A voice of lamentation within that lady's bower ; 
For there had come to Paris a messenger by night, 
And his horse it was a- weary, and his visage it was white ; 
And there 'sw^eeping in the chamber, and there 's silence 

in the hall, 
For Sir Roland has been slaughtered in the chase of 



THIS is a translation of the ballad which Don Quixote 
and Sancho Panza, when at Toboso, overheard a 
peasant singing, as he was going to his work at daybreak. 
''Iba cantando," says Cerv^antes, "aquel romance que 

" Mala la vistes Franceses la caga de Roncesvalles." 

Thk day of Roncesvalles was a dismal da}^ for you, 

Ye men of France, for there the lance of King Charles 

was broke in two : 
Ye well may curse that rueful field, for many a noble 

In fray or fight, the dust will bite, beneath Bernardo's 


There captured w^as Guarinos, King Charles' admiral ; 
Seven Moorish kings surrounded him, and seized him for 
their thrall ; 


212 ttbe B^miral 6uarino6 

Seven times, wlien all the chase was o'er, for Guarinos 

lots they cast ; 
Seven times Marlotes won the throw, and the Knight was 

his at last. 

Much joy had then Marlotes, and his captive much did 

prize ; 
Above all the wealth of Araby, he was precious in his 

Within his tent at evening, he made the best of cheer, 
And thus, the banquet done, he spake unto his prisoner. 

'^Now, for the sake of Alia, Lord Admiral Guarinos, 
Be thou a Moslem, and much love shall ever rest between 

us : 
Two daughters have I, — all the day thy handmaid one 

shall be, 
The other (and the fairer far) by night shall cherish thee. 

"The one shall be thy waiting-maid, thy weary feet to 

To scatter perfumes on thy head, and fetch thee garments 

brave ; 
The other — she the pretty — shall deck her bridal-bower, 
And my field and my city they both shall be her dower. 

"If more thou wishest, more I '11 give ; speak boldly what 

thy thought is ; " 
Thus earnestly and kindly to Guarinos said Marlotes : 

XLbc BDmiral Ouarinos 243 

But not a moment did he take to ponder or to pause, 
Thus clear and quick the answer of the Christian captain 
was : — 

*'Now, God forbid! Marlotes, and Mary, his dear 

That I should leave the faith of Christ, and bind me to 

another : 
For women — I 've one wife in France, and I '11 wed no 

more in Spain ; 
I change not faith, I break not vow, for courtesy or gain.'' 

Wroth waxed King Marlotes, when thus he heard him 

And all for ire commanded, he should be led away ; 
Awa}' unto the dungeon-keep, beneath its vaults to lie, 
With fetters bound in darkness deep, far off from sun and 


With iron bands they bound his hands : that sore un- 
worthy plight 

Might well express his helplessness, doomed never more 
to fight. 

Again, from cincture down to knee, long bolts of iron he 

Which signified the Knight should ride on charger never 

M4 tbc Bt)mirai (Suarinos 

Three times alone, in all the year, it is the captive's 

To see God's daylight bright and clear, instead of dungeon- 
gloom ; 

Three times alone they bring him out, like Sampson long 

Before the Moorish rabble-rout to be a sport and show. 

On three high feasts they bring him forth, a spectacle to 

The feast of Pasque, and the great day of the Nativity, 
And on that morn, more solemn 3'et, when maidens strip 

the bowers. 
And gladden mosque and minaret wnth the firstlings of 

the flowers. 

Days come and go of gloom and show : seven years are 

come and gone ; 
And now doth fall the festival of the holy Baptist John ; 
Christian and Moslem tilts and jousts, to give it homage 

And rushes on the paths to spread they force the sulky 


Marlotes, in his joy and pride, a target high doth rear — 
Below the Moorish knights must ride, and pierce it with 

the spear ; 
But 't is so high up in the sky, albeit much they strain. 
No Moorish lance so far may fly, Marlotes' prize to gain. 

Zbc SDmival Ouarinoa 245 

Wroth waxed King Marlotes, when he beheld them fail ; 
The whisker trembled on his lip, — his cheek for ire was 

pale ; 
And heralds proclamation made, with trumpets, through 

the town, — 
''Nor child shall suck, nor man shall eat, till the mark 

be tumbled down." 

The cry of proclamation, and the trumpet's haughty 

Did send an echo to the vault where the Admiral was 

''Now, help me, God ! " the captive cries, " what means 

this din so loud ? 
O Queen of Heaven ! be vengeance given on these thy 

haters proud ! 

" Oh ! is it that some Pagan gay doth Marlotes' daughter 

And that they bear my scorned fair in triumph to his bed ? 
Or is it that the day is come, — one of the hateful three, — 
When they, with trumpet, fife, and drum, make heathen 

game of me? " 

These words the jailer chanced to hear, and thus to him 

he said, 
"These tabours. Lord, and trumpets clear, conduct no 

bride to bed ; 

246 ^be Bt)miral Guarinos 

Nor has the feast come roiiud again, when he that has 

the right 
Commands thee forth, thou foe of Spain, to glad the 

people's sight ! 

"This is the joyful morning of John the Baptist's day, 
When Moor and Christian feasts at home, each in his 

nation's way; 
But now our King commands that none his banquet shall 

Until some knight, by strength or sleight, the spearman's 

prize do win." 

Then out and spake Guarinos, ''Oh! soon each man 

should feed, 
Were I but mounted once again on my own gallant steed : 
Oh ! were I mounted as of old, and harnessed cap-a-pie. 
Full soon Marlotes' prize I 'dhold, whate'er its price may 


" Give me my horse, mine old gray horse, so be he is not 

All gallantly caparisoned, wdth plate on breast and head, 
And give the lance I brought from France ; and if I win 

it not. 
My life shall be the forfeiture, — I '11 jaeld it on the 


the BDmiral 6uarino6 247 

The jailer wondered at his words : thus to the Knight 

said he, 
"Seven weary years of chains and gloom have little 

humbled thee ; 
There 's never a man in Spain, I trow, the like so w^ell 

might bear ; 
And if thou wilt, I w^ith thy vow will to the King repair." 

The jailer put his mantle on, and came unto the King, 
He found him sitting on the throne, within his listed ring ; 
Close to his ear he planted him, and the story did begin, 
How bold Guarinos vaunted him the spearman's prize to 

That, were he mounted but once more on his own gallant 

And armed with the lance he bore on Roncesvalles' day. 
What never Moorish knight could pierce, he would pierce 

it at a blow, 
Or give with joy his life-blood fierce, at Marlotes' feet to 


Much marvelling, then said the King, — ''Bring Sir 

Guarinos forth, 
And in the grange go seek ye for his gray steed of worth ; 
His arms are rusty on the wall, — seven years have gone, 

I judge, 
Since that strong horse has bent his force to be a carrion 

drudge ; 

248 Zbc BDmiral (3uarino0 

" Now this will be a sight indeed, to see the enfeebled 

Essay to mount that ragged steed, and draw that rusty 

sword ; 
And for the vaunting of his phrase he well deserves to die, 
So, jailer, gird his harness on, and bring your champion 


They have girded on his shirt of mail, his cuisses well 

they 've clasped. 
And they 've barred the helm on his visage pale, and his 

hand the lance hath grasped, 
And they have caught the old gray horse, the horse he 

loved of yore. 
And he stands pawing at the gate — caparisoned once 


When the Knight came out, the Moors did shout, and 

loudly laughed the King, 
For the horse he pranced and capered, and furiously did 

fling ; 
But Guarinos whispered in his ear, and looked into his 

Then stood the old charger like a lamb, wnth a calm and 

gentle grace. 

Oh ! lightly did Guarinos vault into the saddle-tree. 
And slowly riding dow^n made halt before Marlotes' knee ; 

Zbc BDmiral (3uarino6 


Again the heathen laughed aloud, — "All hail, Sir 

Knight," quoth he, 
''Now do thy best, thou champion proud; thy blood I 

look to see ! " 

With that, Guarinos, lance in rest, against the scoffer 

Pierced at one thrust his envious breast, and down his 

turban trode : 
Now ride, now ride, Guarinos — nor lance nor rowel spare — 
Slay, slay, and gallop for thy life : the land of France 

lies ^/lej^e ! 


THE following is one of the few old Spanish ballads 
in which mention is made of the Fairies. The 
sleeping child's being taken away from the arms of the 
nurse, is a circumstance quite in accordance with our 


^be XaDi^ ot tbe Zvcc 251 

own tales of Fairyland ; but the seven years' enchant- 
ment in the tree reminds us more of those oriental 
fictions, the influence of which has stamped so many in- 
delible traces on the imaginative literature of Spain. 

The Knight had hunted long, and twilight closed the 

His hounds were weak and weary, — his hawk had flow^n 

away ; 
He stopped beneath an oak, an old and mighty tree. 
Then out the maiden spoke, and a comely maid was she. 

The Knight 'gan lift his eye the shady boughs between ; 
She had her seat on high, among the oak -leaves green ; 
Her golden curls lay clustering above her breast of snow. 
But, when the breeze was westering, upon it they did 

" Oh, fear not, gentle Knight ! there is no cause for fear; 
I am a good king's daughter, long years enchanted here ; 
Seven cruel fairies found me, — they charmed a sleeping 

child ; 
Seven years their charm hath bound me, a damsel unde- 


" Seven weary years are gone since o'er me charms they 

threw ; 
I have dwelt here alone, — I have seen none but you, 

252 ^be XaD^ ot tbe XLtcc 

My seven sad years are spent ; — for Christ that died on 

Thou noble Knight consent, and lead me from the wood ! 

'' Oh, bring me forth again from out this darksome 

place ! 
I dare not sleep for terror of the unholy race. 
Oh, take me, gentle sir ! I '11 be a wife to thee, — 
I '11 be thy lowly leman, if wife I may not be ! " 

*' Till dawns the morning, wait, thou lovely lady ! here; 
I '11 ask my mother straight, for her reproof I fear." 
'' Oh, ill beseems thee. Knight ! " said she, that maid for- 
''The blood of kings to flight, — a lady's tears to scorn ! " 

He came when morning broke, to fetch the maid away, 
But could not find the oak wherein she made her stay ; 
All through the wilderness he sought in bower and 

tree ; — 
Fair lordlings, well ye guess what w^eary heart had he ! 

There came a sound of voices from up the forest glen. 
The King had come to find her with all his gentlemen ; 
They rode in mickle glee — a joyous cavalcade — 
Fair in the midst rode she, but never word she said, 

^be XaD^ of tbe Zvcc 


Though on the green he knelt, no look on him she cast — 
His hand was on the hilt ere all the train were past. 
" Oh, shame to knightly blood ! Oh, scorn to chivalry ! 
I '11 die within the wood : — Xo eve niv death shall see ! " 


THE ballad of the " Infante Vengaclor " is proved to be 
of very high antiquity by certain particulars in its 
language. The circumstance of the tiled floor, and some 
others of the same sort, will not escape the notice of the 
antiquarian reader. 

Hurrah ! hurrah ! avoid the way of the Avenging 

Childe ; 
His horse is swift as sands that drift, — an iVrab of the 

wild ; 
His gown is twisted round his arm, — a ghastly cheek he 

wears ; 
And in his hand, for deadly harm, a hunting-knife he 


Avoid that knife in battle-strife : — that weapon short and 

The dragon's gore hath bathed it o'er, seven times 'twas 

steeped therein ; 


XLbc UvcrxQim Cbil^e 255 

Seven times the smith hath proved its pith, — it cuts a 

coulter through ; 
In France the blade was fashioned, — from Spain the 

shaft it drew. 

He sharpens it, as he doth ride, upon his saddle bow, — 

He sharpens it on either side, he makes the steel to 

glow : 

He rides to find Don Quadros, that false and faitour 

knight ; 

His glance of ire is hot as fire, although his cheek be 


He found him standing by the King within the judgment- 
hall ; 

He rushed within the barons' ring, — he stood before them 

Seven times he gazed and pondered, if he the deed 
should do ; 

Eight times distraught he looked and thought — then out 
his dagger flew. 

He stabbed therewith at Quadros : — the King did step 

between ; 
It pierced his royal garment of purple wove with green ; 
He fell beneath the canopy, upon the tiles he lay. 
*'Thou traitor keen, what dost thou mean ? — thy King 

why wouldst thou slay ? ' ' 

256 CTbe Bvenging Qbilt>c 

''Now, pardon, pardon," cried the Cliilde, " I stabbed 

not, King, at thee, 
But him, that caitiff, blood-defiled, who stood beside thy 

knee ; 
Eight brothers were we, — in the land might none more 

loving be, — 
They are all slain by Ouadros' hand, — they all are dead 

but me ! 

" Good King, I fain w^ould wash the stain, — for vengeance 

is my cry ; 
This murderer with sw^ord and spear to battle I defy ! " 
But all took part with Quadros, except one lovely May, — 
Except the King's fair daughter, none word for him 

would say. 

She took their hands, she led them forth into the court 

below ; 
She bade the ring be guarded, — she bade the trumpet 

blow ; 
From lofty place for that stern race the signal she did 

throw : — 
"With truth and right the Lord will fight, — together let 

them go." 

The one is up, the other down : the hunter's knife is bare ; 
It cuts the lace beneath the face, — it cuts through beard 
and hair ; 

Zbc 'Bvcming Cbil^c 




^- 1 

i - 


258 ^be Bvenging Cbilbc 

Right soon that knife hath quenched his life, the head is 

sundered sheer ; 
Then gladsome smiled the Avenging Childe, and fixed it 

on his spear. 

But when the King beholds him bring that token of his 

Nor scorn nor wrath his bosom hath: — "Kneel down, 

thou noble youth ; 
Kneel down, kneel down, and kiss my crown, I am no 

more thy foe : 
My daughter now may pay the vow she plighted long 

ago ! " 



HIS ballad is in the "Cancionero of Antwerp," 1555. 
I should be inclined to suppose that 

" More is meant than meets the ear, — " 

— that some religious allegory is intended to be shadowed 

Who had ever such adventure, 

Holy priest, or virgin nun. 
As befel the Count Arnaldos 

At the rising of the sun ? 


26o Count BrnalDoa 

On his wrist the hawk was hooded, 
Forth with horn and hound went he, 

When he saw a stately galley 
Sailing on the silent sea. 

Sail of satin, mast of cedar. 

Burnished poop of beaten gold, — 

Many a morn you '11 hood your falcon 
Bre you such a bark behold. 

Sails of satin, masts of cedar, 
Golden poops may come again. 

But mortal ear no more shall listen 
To yon gray -haired sailor's strain. 

Heart may beat, and eye may glisten, 
Faith is strong, and Hope is free. 

But mortal ear no more shall listen 
To the song that rules the sea. 

When the gray-haired sailor chanted, 
Every wind was hushed to sleep, — 

lyike a virgin's bosom panted 
All the wide reposing deep. 

Bright in beauty rose the star-fish 
From her green cave down below, 

Right above the eagle poised him — 
Holy music charmed them so. 

Count BrnalDoB 2^1 

''Stately galley! glorious galley ! 

God hath poured his grace on thee ! 
Thou alone mayst scorn the perils 

Of the dread devouring sea ! 

'' False Almeria's reefs and shallows, 

Black Gibraltar's giant rocks, 
Sound and sand-bank, gulf and whirlpool, 

All — my glorious galley mocks ! " 

'' For the sake of God, our maker ! 

(Count Arnaldos' cry was strong) — 
Old man, let me be partaker 

Tn the secret of thy song ! " 

'* Count Arnaldos ! Count Arnaldos ! 

Hearts I read, and thoughts I know ; — 
Wouldst thou learn the ocean secret. 

In our galley thou must go." 



'T^HE Marquis du Palmy said, many years ago, in his 
* ingenious essay, ' ' Sur la vie privee des Frangaises, ' ' 
— " Les feux de la vSaint Jean, fondes sur ce qu'on lit 
dans le Nouveau Testament (St. Luc. i., 14), que les na- 
tions se rejouirent a la naissance de Saint Jean, sont 
presque eteints par tout." 

Both in the northern and the southern parts of Europe, 
there prevailed of old a superstitious custom, of which 
the traces probably linger to this day in many simple 
districts. The young women rose on this sacred morn- 
ing ere the sun was up, and collected garlands of flowers, 
which they bound upon their heads ; and according as 
dew remained upon these a longer or a shorter time, they 
augured more or less favorably of the constancy of their 


S)a^ ot St. 5obn tbe JSaptist 263 

Another ceremony was to enclose a wether in a hut of 
heath, and dance and sing round it, while she who de- 
sired to have her fortune told stood by the door. If the 
wether remained still, the omen was good. If he pushed 
his horns through the frail roof or door, then the lover 
was false-hearted. 

That the day of the Baptist was a great festival among 
the Spanish Moors, the reader may gather from many 
passages in the foregoing ballads, particularly that of 
"The Admiral Guarinos." There are two in the Cancio- 
nero, which show that some part at least of the amorous 
superstitions of the day were also shared by them. One 
of them begins : 

" I^a manana de San Juan, salen a coger guirnaldas, 
Zara muger del Rey Chico, con sus mas queridas damas," etc. 

The other : 

" Iva manana de San Juan, a punta que alboreava, 
Gran fiesta hazen los Moros por la vega de Granada, 
Rebolviendo sus cavallos, y jugando con las lanzas, 
Ricos pendones en ellas, labrados por las amadas. 

El moro que amoves tiene^ senales dellos monstrava, 
Y el que amiga no tenia, alii //c escara?migava,'' etc. 

The following song is one that used to be sung by the 
Spanish country-girls, as they went out to gather their 


S>as ot SU Jobn tbe JSaptiat 

dew and their flowers, on St. John's day in the morning. 
There are many of the same kind ; such as that begin- 
ning : 

" Kste dia de San Juan 
Ay de mi ! 
Que no solia ser ansi ! " etc. 

And that other ; 

' Yo no me porne guimalda 
I^a maiiana de San Juan, 
Pues mis amores se van," etc. 


COMB forth, come forth, my maidens, 't is the day of 
good St. John, 
It is the Baptist's morning that breaks the hills upon ; 
And let us all go forth together, while the blessed day is 

To dress with flowers the snow-white wether, ere the sun 
has dried the dew. 

Come forth, come forth, etc. 

Come forth, come forth, my maidens, the woodlands all 
are green. 

And the little birds are singing the opening leaves be- 
tween ; 

And let us all go forth together, to gather trefoil by the 

Bre the face of Guadalquiver glows beneath the strength- 
ening beam. 

Come forth, come forth, etc. 

Come forth, come forth, my maidens, and slumber not 

The blessed, blessed morning of the holy Baptist's day ; 


266 2)a^ ot St. 5obu tbc :fiSaptt6t 

There 's trefoil on the meadow, and lilies on the lee, 
And hawthorn blossoms on the bush, which you must 
pluck with me. 

Come forth, come forth, m}^ maidens, the air is calm and 

And the violets blue far down ye '11 view, reflected in the 

The violets and the roses, and the jasmines all together. 
We '11 bind in garlands on the brow of the strong and 

lovely wether. 

Come forth, come forth, my maidens, we '11 gather myrtle 

And we shall learn from the dews of the fern, if our lads 

will keep their vows : 
If the wether be still, as we dance on the hill, and the 

dew hangs sweet on the flowers, 
Then we '11 kiss off the dew, for our lovers are true, and 

the Baptist's blessing is ours. 

Come forth, come forth, my maidens, 't is the day of 

good St. John, 
It is the Baptist's morning that breaks the hills upon ; 
And let us all go forth together, while the blessed day is 

To dress with flowers the snow-white wether, ere the sun 

has dried the dew. 


'T^HB following ballad is inserted in this place on ac- 
*■ count of an allusion it contains to the ancient cus- 
tom which forms the subject of the preceding one. It 
seems to represent the frenzy of a Spanish knight, who 
has L(one mad, in consequence of his mistress having 
been carried off in the course of a Moorish foray. 

" Arriba ! canes, arriba ! que rabia mala os mate, 
E)ii jueves m.atays el puerco, y en viernes come^-s la came," etc. 

"Off! off! ye hounds! — in madness an ill death be 

your doom ! 
The boar ye killed on Thursday, on Friday ye consume 1 
Ay me 1 and it is now seven years I in this valley go ; 
Barefoot I wander, and the blood from out my nails 

doth flow\ 

" I eat the raw flesh of the boar,— I drink his red blood 

Seeking, wnth heavy heart and sore, my princess and 

my dear : 




'T was on the Baptist's morning the Moors rny princess 

While she was gathering roses upon her father's ground. " 

Fair Juliana heard his voice where by the Moor she lay, 
Bven in the Moor's encircling arms she heard what he 

did say ; 
The lady listened, and she wept within that guarded 

place, — 
While her Moor lord beside her slept, the tears fell on 

his face. 



''while she was gathering roses upon her father's ground." 


This is from a song in the '' Cancionero of Valencia," 

' Galeristas de Espana 
Parad los remos." etc. 

'* \/B mariners of Spain ! 

1 Bend strongly on your oars, 
And bring my love again. 

For he lies among the Moors ! 

*' Ye galleys fairly built, 
Like castles on the sea, 
Oh, great will be 5^our guilt, 
If ye bring him not to me. 

*^ The wind is blowing strong, 
The breeze will aid your oars ; 
Oh, swiftly fly along ! 

For he lies among the Moors ! 

^be Song ot tbe Galley 271 

'' The sweet breeze of the sea 
Cools every cheek but mine ; 
Hot is its breath to me, 
As I gaze upon the brine. 

" Lift up, lift up your sail ! 
And bend upon your oars ; 
Oh, lose not the fair gale, 

For he lies among the Moors ! 

'' It is a narrow strait, 

I see the blue hills over ; 
Your coming I '11 await, 

And thank you for my lover. 

^' To Mary I will pray. 

While ye bend upon your oars ; 
'T will be a blessed day, 

If ye fetch him from the Moors ! 


In the '' Cancionero of Antwerp," 1555, 

' Mis arreos son las armas 
Mi descanso el pelear." 

ornaments are arms 
My pastime is in war, 
My bed is cold upon the wold, 
My lamp you star : 


My jourueyiugs are long, 

My .slumbers short and broken ; 
From hill to hill I wander still, 
Kissing thy token. 

I ride from land to land, 
I sail from sea to sea ; 
Some day more kind I fate may find. 
Some night kiss thee ! 



"^ ' Ull. 

fUL. -nmi. :3Z. 

j^TTmrfif 3^ :^ 
Tim: nior 5ffir U "w^ssc^^ 


m. '■ 

:.T V -'7-- -y- 

T TESaiinntaaTISIElEaSSSBCSflES'iff' 3L : 

2:6 Serenade 

Rise on the gentle breeze 
And gain her lattice' height 

O'er yon poplar trees,— 
But be your echoes light 

As hum of distant bees. 

All the stars are glowing 

In the gorgeous sky ; 
In the stream scarce flowing 

Mimic lustres lie : 
Blow, gentle, gentle breeze ! 

But bring no cloud to hide 
Their dear resplendencies ; 

Nor chase from Zara's side. 
Dreams bright and pure as these. 



'T^HB following is a translation of a ballad in the 
^ " Cancionero of Antwerp,'^ 1555. 

" Pues el mes era de Mayo," etc. 

There is one in the "Cancionero General of Valencia," 
15 1 1, of which this would seem to have been no more 
than an expansion. The older is perhaps the finer of 
the two. It is, at all events, so short, that I shall tran- 
scribe it. 

"Que por Mayo era por Mayo, 
Cuando, los blandos calores, 
Cuando los enamorados 
Van servir a sus amores ; 
Sino yo, triste Mezquino, 
Que yago en estas prisiones. 
Que ni se cuando es de dia 
Ni menos cuando es de Noche ; 
Sino por una avecilla 
Que me cantaba al albor.— 
Matumelo un ballestero 
Delo Dios mal galardon ! 



a )^T-» jg i^Q^-^ the}' say, the month of May, — 'Lis uow 

1 the moons are bright ; 
'T is now the maids, 'mong greenwood shades, sit with 

their loves by night ; 
'T is now the hearts of lovers true are glad the groves 

among ; 
'T is now^ they sit the long night through, and list the 

thrush's song. 

''Woe dwells with me, in spite of thee, thou gladsome 
month of May ! 

I cannot see what stars they be, I know not night from 
day : 

There zcas a bird, whose voice I heard, — oh ! sweet my 
small bird sung, — 

I heard its tune w^hen night was gone, and up the morn- 
ing sprung. 

"To comfort me in darkness bound, comes now no voice 

of cheer ; 
Long have I listened for the sound, there is no bird to 

hear : 


^be Captive Iknicjbt anO tbe JBlachbirD 279 

Sweet bird ! lie had a cruel heart, whose steel thy bosom 

tore ; 
A ruffian hand discharged the dart, that makes thee sing 

no more. 

"I am the vassal of my King, — it never shall be said 
That I even hence a curse could fling against my liege's 

head : 
But if the jailor slew the merle, no sin is in my word, 
God look in anger on the churl that harmed my harmless 

bird ! 

*'Oh, should some kindly Christian bring another bird 

to me, 
Thy tune I in his ear would sing, till he could sing like 

thee ; 
But were a dove within my choice, my song would soon 

be o'er, 
For he would understand my voice, and fly to lyconore. 

*'He would fly swiftly through the air, and though he 

could not speak. 
He 'd ask a file, which he could bear within his little 

beak ; 
Had I a file, these fetters vile I from my wrist would 

And see right soon the fair May moon shine on my lady's 


2So Zbc Captive Iknt^bt an^ tbe JSlac?ibtrD 

It chanced while a poor captive knight, within yon 
dungeon strong, 

Lamented thus the arrow's flight that stopped his black- 
bird's song, 

(Unknown to him) the King w^as near ; he heard him 
through the wall ; 

"Nay, since he has no merle to hear, 't is time his fetters 


This is a translation from one of the ballads in Sepul- 
veda's collection (Antwerp, 1580) ; the author's name 
unknown — 

" E^n los tempos que me vi," etc., p. 219. 

MY heart was happy when I turned from Burgos to 
Valladolid ; 
My heart that day w^as light and gay, — it bounded like a 

282 DallaDoliD 

I tnet a Palmer on the way, my horse he bade me rein ; 
"I left Valladolid to-day, I bring thee news of pain ! 
The lady-love whom thou dost seek in gladness and in 

Closed is her eye, and cold her cheek : I saw her on her 


'' The priests went singing of the mass, — my voice their 

song did aid ; 
A hundred knights with them did pass to the burial of the 

maid ; 
And damsels fair went weeping there, and many a one did 

Poor cavalier ! he is not here — 'tis well he 's far away.^* 
I fell when thus I heard him speak, — upon the dust I lay, 
I thought my heart would surely break, — I wept for half 

a day. 

When evening came I rose again, the Palmer held my 

steed ; 
And swiftly rode I o'er the plain to dark Valladolid : 
I came unto the sepulchre where they my love had laid, — 
I bowed me down beside the bier, and there my moan I 

made : 
" Oh, take me, take me to thy bed, I fain would sleep with 

My love is dead, my hope is fled,— there is no joy for me ! " 



I heard a sweet voice from the tomb, — I heard her voice 

so clear, — 
' ' Rise up, rise up, my knightly love ! thy weeping well 

I hear ; 
Rise up and leave this darksome place, — it is no place for 

God yet will send thee helpful grace, in love and chivalry. 
Though in the grave my bed I have, for thee my heart is 

sore, — 
'T will ease my heart if thou depart, — thy peace may God 

restore ! ' ' 


This celebrated corsair became ultimately High Ad- 
miral of the Turkish fleet, and was slain at thegreatsiege 
of Malta, A.D. 1565. 

OH, swiftly, very swiftly, they up the Straits have 
gone, — 
Oh, swiftly flies the corsair, andswift the cross comes on ; 
The cross upon 3'on banner, that streams unto the breeze, 
It is the sign of victory — the cross of the Maltese. 

" Row, row, my slaves, " quoth Dragut, — "the knights, 

the knights are near. 
Row, row, my slaves, row swiftly, the starlight is too 

clear ! 

2>ragut, tbe Cocsaic 


The stars they are too bright, and he that means us well, 
He harms us when he trims his light — yon Moorish sen- 

There came a wreath of smoke from out a culverine. 
The corsair's poop it broke, and it sunk into the brine : 
Down Moor and fettered Christian went beneath the bil- 
lows' roar, 
But hell had work for Dragut yet, and he swam safe 

One only of the captives, a happy man is he. 

The Christian sailors see him, yet struggling in the sea ; 

They hear the captive praying, — they hear the Christian 

And swiftly from the galley a saving rope was flung. 

It was a Spanish knight, who had long been in Algiers, 
From ladies high descended, and noble cavaliers ; 
But forced, for a season, a false Moor's slave to be — 
Upon the shore his gardener, his galley-slave at sea. 


©lagut, tbc Corsait 

But now his heart is dancing, — he sees the Spanish land, 
And all his friends advancing to meet him on the strand ; 
His heart was full of gladness, albeit his eyes ran o'er, 
For he wept as he stepped upon the Christian shore. 


MR. BOUTBRWBK has analyzed this ])allad, and 
commented upon it at some length, in his '' History 
of Spanish Literature." (See Book i., Section i.) He be- 
stows particular praise upon a passage, which the reader 
will find attempted in the fourth line of the thirty-first 
stanza of the following version : — 

" Dedes me a^a este hijo amamare por despedida." 

'^ What modern poet," says he, " would have dared to im- 
agine that trait, at once so natural and so touching?" 
Mr. Bouterwek seems to be of opinion that the story of 
the ballad had been taken from some prose romance of 
chivalry ; but I have not been able to find any trace of it. 



ALONE, as washer wont, she sate, — 
within her bower alone ; 
Alone and very desolate Solisa made 

her moan, 
Lamenting for her flower of life, that 

it should pass away, 
And she he never w^ooed to wife, nor 
see a bridal da}^ 

Thus said the sad Infanta, — " I w411 not hide my grief, 
I '11 tell my father of my wrong, and he will yield relief." 

Count BlarcoB anD the Ifntanta SoUea 289 

The King, when he beheld her 

near, "Alas! my child," 

said he, 
"What means this melancholy 

cheer ? — reveal thy grief to 


"Good King," she said, "my J 

mother was buried long / 

She left me to thy keeping, none ^^ 

else my grief shall know ; "^ 
I fain would have a husband, 't is 

time that I should wed ; 
Forgive the words I utter, with 

mickle shame they 're said. ' ' 

'T was thus the King made an- ' ^ 
swer, — "This fault is none^^^' 
of mine, , ,"$ 

You to the Prince of Hungary <^-^^^ 
your ear would not incline ; 

Yet round us here where lives 
your peer ? — nay, name him 
if you can, 

Except the Count Alarcos, and 
he 's a married man." 

290 Count Blarcos an^ tbc IFntanta Soltsa 

''Ask Count Alarcos, if of yore his word he did not 

To be my husband evermore, and love me day and 

night ? 
If he has bound him in new vows, old oaths he cannot 

break : 
Alas ! I 've lost a loyal spouse, for a false lover's sake." 

The good King sate confounded in silence for some space, 
At length he made his answer, with very troubled face : 
" It was not thus your mother gave counsel you should 

do ; 
You 've done much wrong, my daughter ; we 're asham- 
ed, both I and you. 

•'If it be true that you have said, our honor 's lost and 

gone ; 
And while the Countess is in life, remeed for us is none : 
Though justice were upon our side, ill-talkers would not 

spare — 
Speak, daughter, for your mother 's dead, whose counsel 

eased my care." 

" How can I give you counsel ? — but little wit have I ; 
But certes, Count Alarcos may make this Countess die : 
Let it be noised that sickness cut short her tender life. 
And then let Count Alarcos come and ask me for his wife, 

Count Blarcoa auD tbe flntanta Soliea 291 

What passed betweeu us long ago, 

of that be nothing said ; y^ 

Thus none shall our dishonor know, / ^ ijJK / 

in honor I shall wed. " , / ^ x v ill \ \ 

The Count was standing with his 

friends — thus in the midst he 

spake : 
''What fools be men ! — what boots 

our paiu for comely woman's 

sake ! 
I loved a fair one long ago; — though 

I 'm a married man, 
Sad memory I can ne'er forego, how 

life an d love began. ' ' 

While yet the Count was speaking, 

the good King came full near ; 
He made his salutation with very 

courteous cheer. 
*' Come hither. Count Alarcos, and 

dine with me this day. 
For I have something secret, I in 

your ear must say." 

The King came from the chapel, 
when he had heard the mass ; 

With him the Count Alarcos did to 
his chamber pass ; 


> ' 

292 Count Blarcos an^ tbe Unianta Solisa 

Full nobly were they served there, by pages many a one ; 
When all were gone, and they alone, 't was thus the 
King begun : — 

"What news be these, Alarcos, that you your word did 

To be a husband to my child, and love her day and night? 
If more between you there did pass, yourself ma}- know 

the truth. 
But shamed is my gray-head — alas ! — and scorned Solisa's 


" I have a heavy word to speak, — a lady fair doth lie 
Within my daughter's rightful place, and certes ! she 

must die. 
Let it be noised that sickness cut short her tender life, 
Then come to woo my daughter, and she shall be your 

wife : 
What passed between you long ago, of that be nothing 

Thus none shall my dishonor know, — in honor you shall 


Thus spake the Count Alarcos, — " The truth I '11 not deny, 
I to the Infanta gave my troth, and broke it shamefully ; 
I feared my King would ne'er consent to give me his fair 

daughter ; 
But, oh ! spare her that 's innocent — avoid that sinful 


Count aiarcos anC> tbc Ifufanta ivoliea 293 

**She dies ! she dies ! " the King 

replies ; — " from thine own sin 

it springs, 
If guiltless blood must wash the 

blot which stains the blood of 

kings ; 
Bre morning dawn her life must 

end, and thine must be the 

Else thou on shameful block must 

bend : thereof is no remeed." 

"Good King, my hand thou mayst 

command, else treason blots 

my name ! 
I '11 take the life of my dear wife — 

(God ! mine be not the blame!) 
A-las ! that young and sinless heart 

for others' sin should bleed ! 
Good King, in sorrow I depart." — 

' ' May God your errand speed ! ' ' 

In sorrow he departed, dejectedly 

he rode 
The weary journey from that place 

unto his own abode ; 
He grieved for his fair Countess, 

dear as his life was she ; 

294 Count aiarcos an^ the IFnfanta Solisa 


Sore grieved he for that lady, and 
for his children three. 

The one was yet an infant upon its 

mother's breast, 
For though it had three nurses, it liked 

her milk the best ; 
The others were young children, that 

had but little wit. 
Hanging about their mother's knee 

while nursing she did sit. 



" Alas ! " he said, when he had come 

within a little space, — 
'' How shall I brook the cheerful look 

of my kind lady's face ? 
To see her coming forth in glee to 

meet me in my hall, 
When she so soon a corpse must be, 

and I the cause of all ! " 

Just then he saw her at the door with 

all her babes appear 
(The little page had run before to tell 

his lord w^as near) ; 
"Now welcome home, my lord, my 

life ! — Alas ! you droop your head : 
Tell, Cour.t Alarcos, tell your wife, 

what makes your eyes so red ? " 

Count Blarco6 anO tbc Ifnfanta Soliea 295 

'* I '11 tell you all — I '11 tell you all : it is not yet the hour ; 
We '11 sup together in the hall — I '11 tell you in your 

The lady brought forth what she had, and down beside 

him sate ; 
He sate beside her pale and sad, but neither drank nor ate. 

The children to his side were led (he loved to have them 

Then on the board he laid his head, and out his tears did 

flow : 
"I fain would sleep — I fain would sleep," the Count 

Alarcos said : 
Alas ! be sure, that sleep Vv^as none that night within 

their bed. 

They came together to the bower where they were used 

to rest, 
None with them but the little babe that was upon the 

breast : 
The Count had barred the chamber doors — they ne'er 

were barred till then ; 
*' Unhappy lady," he began, " and I most lost of men ! " 

"Now, speak not so, my noble lord, my husband, and 

my life ! 
Unhappy never can she be that is Alarcos' wife." 
"Alas! unhappy lady, 't is but little that you know. 
For in that very word you ' ve said is gathered all your woe. 

2gG Count Blarcos anD tbe Ifutanta Boliea 



*' Long since I loved a lad}^ — long 

since I oaths did plight, 
To be that lady's husband, to love her 

day and night ; 
Her father is our lord the King, to him 

the thing is known, 
And now, that I the news should 

bring ! she claims me for her 


*' Alas ! my love ! — alas ! my life ! — 

the right is on their side ; 
Kre 1 had seen your face, sweet wife, 

she was betrothed my bride ; 
But, oh ! that I should speak the word, 

since in her place you lie. 
It is the bidding of our Lord, that you 

this nisrht must die." 

*' Are these the wages of my love, so 
lowdy and so leal ? 
MJ \ Oh, kill me not, thou noble Count, 
when at thy foot I kneel ! 
But send me to my father's house, 
where once I dwelt in glee, 
^/^i^>i , There will I live a lone chaste life, and 
rear my children three." 

Count Blarcos anD tbe ITntanta Soliea 297 

''It may not be, — miue oath is 

strong, — ere dawn of day you 

"Oh! well 't is seen how all alone 

upon the earth am I ; 
My father is an old frail man, — my 

mother 's in her grave, — 
And dead is stout Don Garci — alas ! 

my brother brave ! 

'' 'T was at this coward King's com- 
mand they slew my brother dear, 

And now I 'm helpless in the land: — 
it is not death 1 fear. 

But loth, loth am I to depart, and 
leave my children so. 

Now let me lay them to my heart, and 
kiss them ere I go." 

' ' Kiss him that lies upon thy breast — 

the rest thou mayst not see." 
" I fain would say an Ave." — " Then 

say it speedily. ' ' 
She knelt her down upon her knee : 

'' Oh, Lord ! behold my case ; 
Judge not my deeds, but look on me 

in pity and great grace." 

29S Count Blarcos an^ tbe IFnfanta Soliea 

When she had made her orison, up from her knees she 

rose, — 
" Be kind, Alarcos, to our babes, and pray for my repose ; 
And now give me my boy once more upon my breast to 

That he may drink one farewell drink before my breast 

be cold." 

"Why would you waken the poor child? you see he is 

asleep ; 
Prepare, dear wife, there is no time, the dawn begins to 

"Now hear me, C^unt Alarcos! I give thee pardon 

free, — 
I pardon thee for the love's sake wherewith I 've loved 

thee ; 

" But they have not my pardon, the King and his proud 

daughter ; 
The curse of God be on them, for this unchristian 

slaughter ! 
I charge them with my dying breath, ere thirty days be 

To meet me in the realm of death, and at God's awful 

throne !"♦ 

He drew a kerchief round her neck, he drew it tight and 

Until she lay quite stiff and cold her chamber floor along ; 

Count Blarco6 auD tbe ITntanta SoUea 299 

He laid lier then within the sheets, 
and, kneeling by her side. 

To God and Mary Mother in misery 
he cried. 

Then called he for his esquires — oh 

deep was there dismay, 
When they into the chamber came 

and saw her how she lay : 
Thus died she in her innocence, a lad;> 

void of wrong — 
But God took heed of their offence, — 

His vengeance stayed not long. 

Within twelve days, in pain and dole, 

the Infanta passed away. 
The cruel King gave up his soul upon 

the twentieth day ; 
Alarcos followed ere the moon had 

made her round complete ; 
Three guilty spirits stood right soon 

before God's judgment-seat. 


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